The terrorist attacks of 9/11 changed the environment and sense of security in the United States. Federalism was changed as a result because the power of the national government became more centralized (Clovis, 2006, 9). The U.S. PATRIOT Act, which was passed just days after the attacks, implemented constraints on civil liberties. The Department of Homeland Security was also created, in order to combat terrorism. Congress struggled to provide oversight for the newly created department, creating budget deficits and other substantial issues (Clovis, 2006, 10). State and local governments were also affected, as they receive federal funds in the form of grants (Clovis, 2006, 11). The State Homeland Security Grant Program, for example, has received criticism because of the slow pace at which it disburses funds to state and local governments (Clovis, 2006, 12). This process is not in tune with the operational activities of the federal government (Clovis, 2006, 13).

All levels of government agree on the importance of homeland security and the fact that there is no one size fits all solution (Clovis, 2006, 13). Federal programs, such as FEMA and the CDC have established relationships and are already practiced in working together in preparation and response to disasters and emergencies, which is in line with cooperative federalism. Also, there is no single jurisdiction that can deal with a major event alone, so cooperation is imperative (Clovis, 2006, 14). The federal government is unlikely to change its ideas on state and local government aid distribution. The federal government must lead and facilitate national security, while state and local governments need maximum flexibility to gain and maintain situational awareness. Another implication of this is that those who work at the federal level must have employ individuals who are subject matter experts on the needs of state and local governments (Clovis, 2006, 18). Cooperation and collaboration must be realized without compromising sovereignty or raising costs to a level that is not acceptable to voters and citizens.


Clovis, S. H., Jr. (2006). Federalism, homeland security and national preparedness: A case study in the development of public policy. Homeland Security Affairs, II(3). Retrieved from

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