Arts & Sciences

Department of Political Science to host world’s leading journal on federalism 

Paul Nolette

The Department of Political Science in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences will host Publius: The Journal of Federalism, with Dr. Paul Nolette, director of the Les Aspin Center for Government, and Dr. Philip Rocco, associate professor of political science, serving as editors. 

The American Political Science Association’s organized section on federalism and intergovernmental relations, which sponsors the journal, voted on its new editorial leadership on Sept. 1, with Nolette and Rocco stepping into their roles this fall. Publius is the world’s leading journal devoted to federalism. It is required reading for scholars of many disciplines who want the latest developments, trends, and empirical and theoretical work on federalism and intergovernmental relations. 

Philip Rocco

“Many of today’s most important political issues occur not at one level of government, but in the interaction among officials at the federal, state and local level,” said Nolette, who recently served as an annual review editor for the journal. “For 50 years, Publius has been the world’s leading journal on federalism, and a home for scholarship that aims to help both scholars and the public at large to better understand those issues.” 

“Roughly 40 percent of the world’s population are citizens of governments with federal systems,” Rocco added. “The relationships between national and subnational governments in these systems can be highly contentious and fluid. In the next decade, we expect those relationships to define several important issues, including climate change, migration and societal aging. Our hope is that, with rigorously peer-reviewed scholarship, Publius will help to improve public understanding of how federations respond to these challenges.” 

As the journal’s host, the Department of Political Science will serve as a center of excellence for federalism scholarship in the United States. In addition to Nolette and Rocco, the department is home to several scholars whose work examines the link between national and subnational politics. The Les Aspin Center for Government in Washington, D.C. will also play an important role in the life of the journal.  

“I am delighted for Dr. Nolette and Dr. Rocco as the invitation to serve as home to such a prestigious and important journal is another indicator of the prominent national and international profile of our Department of Political Science,” said Dr. Heidi Bostic, dean of the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences. 

“Publius” was the pen name used by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison in 1787-88 when they published 85 articles titled “The Federalist” in defense of the federal republic created by the new Constitution of the United States of America. Founded in 1973 by Daniel J. Elazar, a preeminent federalism scholar, the journal is published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Center for the Study of Federalism, an organization Elazar initially founded in 1967, which is now hosted at Lafayette College. 

“(Center for the Study of Federalism) is delighted Publius will be under the leadership of such a dynamic team of accomplished scholars as Nolette and Rocco,” said Dr. John Kincaid, president of Center for the Study of Federalism. “They will take the journal forward to new heights during challenging times for federal democracy worldwide.” 

Founded in 1903, the American Political Science Association is the leading professional organization for the study of political science and serves more than 11,000 members in more than 100 countries. With a range of programs and services for individuals, departments, and institutions, APSA brings together political scientists from all fields of inquiry, regions, and occupational endeavors within and outside academe to deepen our understanding of politics, democracy, and citizenship throughout the world. The APSA promotes a lively, diverse community of scholars, teachers, students, and practitioners who bring wide-ranging interests, methodologies and perspectives to the analysis and conduct of government and politics.