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Power without Persuasion: The Politics of Direct Presidential Action / Edition 1

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Overview

Since the early 1960s, scholarly thinking on the power of U.S. presidents has rested on these words: "Presidential power is the power to persuade." Power, in this formulation, is strictly about bargaining and convincing other political actors to do things the president cannot accomplish alone. Power without Persuasion argues otherwise. Focusing on presidents' ability to act unilaterally, William Howell provides the most theoretically substantial and far-reaching reevaluation of presidential power in many years. He argues that presidents regularly set public policies over vocal objections by Congress, interest groups, and the bureaucracy.

Throughout U.S. history, going back to the Louisiana Purchase and the Emancipation Proclamation, presidents have set landmark policies on their own. More recently, Roosevelt interned Japanese Americans during World War II, Kennedy established the Peace Corps, Johnson got affirmative action underway, Reagan greatly expanded the president's powers of regulatory review, and Clinton extended protections to millions of acres of public lands. Since September 11, Bush has created a new cabinet post and constructed a parallel judicial system to try suspected terrorists.

Howell not only presents numerous new empirical findings but goes well beyond the theoretical scope of previous studies. Drawing richly on game theory and the new institutionalism, he examines the political conditions under which presidents can change policy without congressional or judicial consent. Clearly written, Power without Persuasion asserts a compelling new formulation of presidential power, one whose implications will resound.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2004

"This must read shows the civics text version of the US system turned upside down."--Choice

Choice
This must read shows the civics text version of the US system turned upside down.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691102702
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/8/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 1,361,474
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
1 Presidential Power in the Modern Era 1
2 A Formal Representation of Unilateral Action 24
3 Bridge Building 55
4 Theory Testing 76
5 Congressional Constraints on Presidential Power 101
6 The Institutional Foundations of Judicial Deference 136
7 Conclusion 175
App. 1 Coding of Executive Orders 189
App. 2 Proofs of Propositions in the Unilateral Politics Model 192
App. 3 Identifying Congressional Challenges to Executive Orders 196
App. 4 Federal Court Challenges to Executive Orders 198
Notes 203
Bibliography 219
Index 231
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