Both Jerry Mashaw's "Block Grants, Entitlements, and Federalism," and R. Shep Melnick's "Federalism and the New Rights" examine the definition of entitlement, and consider to what extent block grants are consistent with the notion of entitlement. In this commentary, I will first highlight that their examinations arrive at fairly different conclusions; then second, consider what we can learn from these divergent examinations; and, finally, challenge us to think not only about the effect of downward devolution, but also the effect of privatization or outward devolution on representative democracy.

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