Policy by Other Means: Alternative Adoption by Presidents

Overview


Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress bears responsibility for establishing national policy through legislation, but in recent years that power has often been eclipsed by presidents adopting public policy by other means. Steven A. Shull offers a systematic study of the relative importance of four tools presidents use to create policy without going through Congress: budgeting, executive orders, executive agreements, and commitment of troops.

Using both statistical analyses of ...

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Overview


Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress bears responsibility for establishing national policy through legislation, but in recent years that power has often been eclipsed by presidents adopting public policy by other means. Steven A. Shull offers a systematic study of the relative importance of four tools presidents use to create policy without going through Congress: budgeting, executive orders, executive agreements, and commitment of troops.

Using both statistical analyses of recent presidents= use of alternative policy means and case studies of each tool, Shull investigates the factors that affect whether and when the chief executive becomes, in effect, the chief policy maker, budgeter, or diplomat. He examines individual, institutional, and environmental variables, as well as several controls that may influence the choice of unilateral or alternative policy actions.

Shull’s quantitative analyses help to illustrate not only the trends over time in the independent actions of presidents but also the complexity of the factors that influence those trends. His data and statistical techniques point toward confirmation of some hypotheses that have been held about the exercise of presidential powers and the disproof of others. Shull demonstrates the usefulness of applying quantitative methods, informed by theory and the literature, to the study of the office.

Scholars of the presidency, of executive-legislative relations, and of public policy will gain important insight into previously under-studied aspects of presidential power from Shull=s careful analysis of unilateral and other alternative policy adoption.

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Editorial Reviews

Lance t. LeLoup

“He analyzes these presidential prerogatives systematically with an impressive array of data that covers more than fifty years. He has developed a fairly elaborate model and tests it empirically allowing him to address a number of key research questions in the study of the presidency and presidential-congressional relations.”--Lance t. LeLoup, C.O. and Mary Johnson Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Washington State University
Choice

Recommended. Graduate students and faculty.

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Product Details

Meet the Author


Steven A. Shull holds the title of University Research Professor of Political Science at the University of New Orleans. Twice a Fulbright Professor, he earned his doctorate at Ohio State University and has written 120 publications, including numerous books and many articles on the presidency and public policy, with a special focus on relations between the presidency and the legislative branch.
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Table of Contents

1 Understanding presidential prerogatives 3
2 Explaining presidential alternative actions 29
3 Measurement of variables 56
4 Budget agreement : chief budgeter 73
5 Executive orders : chief executive 95
6 Executive agreements : chief diplomat 114
7 Committing troops : commander in chief 134
8 Conclusion 154
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