With its highly centralized political institutions, Israel is typical of the unitary, nonfederal political systems in the world. On the other hand, with its growing emphasis on federalism, the United States reveals the functions and dysfunctions of the pluralist system. In this provocative book, Frederick Lazin compares the two types of political systems to show how municipalities in Israel, as in the United States, exert considerable influence on implementation of national domestic policies. He argues convincingly that unitary systems have many of the same difficulties that their federal counterparts have in implementing social welfare policies.This study provides a theoretical basis for understanding how administrative institutional system and socioeconomic status variables affect the potential influence of municipalities and make implementation of policies so problematic. It develops a model for policy implementation in unitary systems which then serves as a framework of analysis for a series of case studies of social welfare, education, and health policy in Israel. Comparisons are then made with the federal political system of the United States in which the national government needs the cooperation of local authorities to implement its policies. Reference is made to federal housing policies and programs for low-income Americans. Similarities as well as differences are noted between the two systems in order to reach conclusions about policy implementation regardless of type of political system.The book contributes both to the general literature on policy implementation as well as to the politics of unitary versus federal systems. It provides a unique and important analysis of problems confronting both types of system in the area of policy implementation of social welfare programs, which remain important concerns in political systems throughout the world.