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Re-Mapping Federalism: Distributing State Power Through Local-Community Governance

Authors: Rodrick Schubert*, University of Colorado - Denver
Topics: Political Geography, Historical Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: political geography, democratization, federalism, community action, popular sovereignty, public opinion, popular opinion, government, constitutional theory, governance practice, citizen participation
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 4:35 PM
Room: Virtual Track 3
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This poster presents a process outline for conceptualizing and employing state-of-the-art maps and apps to empower United States’ communities and make them the locus of federal power. Current United Sates’ governance implementation is a centralized one. It is this centralized governance I demonstrate can be effectively de-centralized, using the maps presented on this poster.

In 1792 James Madison presented a concept of popular sovereignty empowered through public opinion. He sought to fulfill the ideals embodied within the United States’ Constitution’s Preamble. Madison’s idea of public opinion is one created through an amalgamation of popular opinions. In the waning years of the 18th century the transportation and communication tools for achieving this level of engaged dialogic citizen participation did not exist, this is no longer the case today.

The maps appearing on this poster instantiate a governing political authority that starts with “We the people.” Madison’s concept of popular sovereignty is within our reach by using today’s readily available communication and mapping technologies.

Readily accessible political information becomes more productive when each issue has accompanying spatial data. The maps and process presented on this poster reveal how active citizen participation fosters well-informed, engaged voters that instantiate popular sovereignty.

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