What is a ballot initiative?An election in which citizens vote directly on a proposition raised by a group of fellow citizens.
What are block grants?Block grants are given by the national government for more general purposes. With block grants, states or localities have considerable freedom to use the money as they see fit, as long as the purpose is in line with the broad goals set by the national government.
What are categorical grants?Grants that narrowly define how the funds are to be spent. These grants normally come with conditions that need to be satisfied in order for the money to be used.
What is the Commerce Clause?An enumerated power listed in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution that grants Congress the power to 'regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.'

What is a confederation?A political system with multiple levels of government, in which lower level governments retain full sovereignty and cannot be compelled by the national government to act.
Define cooperative federalism.A political system in which both levels of government - national and state - are active in nearly all areas of policy and share sovereign authority.
What is dual federalism?A political system in which each level of government - national and state - is sovereign in its own sphere of policy authority.
What is the Elastic Clause?The provision found in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution that states that Congress can make whatever laws are ''necessary and proper'' in order to execute its enumerated powers.

Define federalism.A political system with multiple levels of government, in which each level has independent authority over some important policy areas.
What are grants-in-aid?Money that is distributed to lower-level governments with the purpose of funding special projects.
What is home rule?The constitutional or legal authority held by local governments that allows them to govern themselves with little or no interference from the state.
What is intergovernmentalism?A system in which multiple levels of government are active in a given policy area.

Define intergovernmental relations.The relationship between the different levels of government. For example, it may pertain to the struggle between the national government and the states for authority over a specific policy domain, or it may pertain to the coordination of action between the levels in an effort to achieve common goals.
What is a recall election?An election during the term of an elected government official in which citizens vote directly on whether to remove the individual from office.
What is a referendum?An election in which citizens vote directly on whether to overturn a bill or a constitutional amendment that has been passed by the legislature.
What are reserved powers?Those powers not granted to the national government by the Constitution, and therefore reserved to the states.

What is revenue sharing?A principle whereby the national government and lower-level governments cooperate in funding a project.
What is a unitary system?A political system in which the national government holds ultimate authority over all areas of policy and over the actions of subunit governments.
What are concurrent powers?Powers held jointly by the national and state governments
Define devolution.The transfer of powers from a national or central government to a state or local government.

Define extradition.To surrender an accused or convicted criminal to the authorities of the state from which he or she has fled; to return a fugitive criminal to the jurisdiction of the accusing state.
What is a federal mandate?A requirement in federal legislation that forces states and municipalities to comply with certain rules.
What is the Full Faith and Credit Clause?This section of the Constitution requires states to recognize one another
What is an interstate compact?An agreement between two or more states. Agreements on minor matters are made without congressional consent, but any compact that tends to increase the power of the contracting states relative to other states or relative to the national government generally requires the consent of Congress. Such compacts serve as a means by which states can solve regional problems.

What is picket-fence federalism?A model of federalism in which specific programs and policies (depicted as vertical pickets in a picket fence) involve all levels of government
What are police powers?The authority to legislate for the protection of the health, morals, safety, and welfare of the people. In the United States, most police power is reserved to the states.
What are privileges and immunities?Special rights and exceptions provided by law. States may not discriminate in the provision of state-citizen rights against citizens of other states. For example, states must allow citizens of other states to use their courts.
What is the Supremacy Clause?The constitutional provision that makes the Constitution and federal laws superior to all conflicting state and local laws.

What is state nullification?The belief that an individual state may restrict federal authority
What are enumerated powers?Powers specifically given to congress in the constitution; including the power to collect taxes, coin money, regulate foreign and interstate commerce, and declare war.
What did the Supreme Court hold in Gibbons v. Ogden?It gave federal government authority to regulate commerce
What did the Supreme Court hold in McCulloch v. Maryland?It ruled that a bank could not be taxed; constitution is the supreme law of the land

What is a matching grant?A grant of money given by the federal government to a state government for which the federal government provides matching funds, usually between one and two dollars, for every dollar the state spends in some area.
What is an externality?An economic side effect of a good or service that generates benefits or costs to someone other than the person deciding how much to produce or consume
What is nationalization?Changing something from private to state ownership or control
What is pre-emptive legislation?Laws passed by Congress that override or preempt state or local policies. The power of preemption derives from the supremacy clause (Article VI) of the Constitution.

What is the race-to-the-bottom?The idea that free trade gives states the incentive to lower regulations and standards in order to beat out the competition in producing goods cheaply
What is the Tenth Amendment?The powers not delegated to the united states by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
Why are states laboratories for reform??States control their own governing structures, providing their citizens the opportunity to change politics on a smaller scale and giving everyone else the chance to observe the effects of reform without risking it themselves; activists have seized upon this opening just as political observers have celebrated the patchwork of policy it can create