The Presidency in a Separated System / Edition 2

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Overview

Media coverage and popular interpretations of American government typically concentrate on the presidency. Observers often attribute the fortunes of an entire government to one person or his small circle of advisers. In an updated and revised edition of his classic book, Charles O. Jones explains how too exclusive a focus on the presidency distorts the picture of how national government really works. He explores how presidents find their place in the permanent government and how they are "fitted in" by others, most notably those on Capitol Hill. Powerful though it may be, the Oval Office is not the source of all authority in government.

Jones examines the organizational, political, and procedural challenges facing presidents, as well as the role of public approval. The author compares the post-World War II presidents and identifies their strengths and weaknesses in working within a separated system of government. The new edition extends through the Clinton and George W. Bush presidencies. It explains how split-party control, differing partisan strategies, and our recent "narrow-margin politics" have changed the Washington landscape, reshaping relations among the branches of government.

Once again, in this edition, the author draws several lessons for presidents working in a separated system. Most have heeded these lessons, while analysts often ignore them in favor of perpetuating unrealistic expectations of what presidents can do.

"Jones has achieved a major milestone in research on the role of the president in the legislative process." —Journal of Politics

"Jones has effectively and authoritatively replaced a popular view of the American presidency with a more accurate one. His argument and his evidence will enlarge and enrich our thinking about the office." —Richard F. Fenno, Jr., University of Rochester

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Jones's ability to engage the scholarly literature and to integrate recent work on the presidency into the second edition adds to the overall utility of this work...The framework of this book remains a crucial contribution to the study of American government." —Jessica M. Steiner, University of Virginia, Journal of Politics

Booknews
Through detailed examinations of ten post-war administrations and their relationship with Congress, Jones (political science, U. of Wisconsin) shows that despite the headlines and public visibility that presidents command, all find their power to govern restrained by party politics, divided government, special interests, media scrutiny, and especially by the constitutional prerogatives of the legislative branch. Paper edition (unseen), $16.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815747178
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 375
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles O. Jones is a nonresident senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, the Hawkins Professor of Political Science (emeritus) at the University of Wisconsin, and a former president of the American Political Science Association. His books include Clinton and Congress, 1993-96 (University of Oklahoma Press, 1999) and Passages to the Presidency (Brookings, 1998).

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Table of Contents

1 Perspectives on the presidency 1
2 Presidents and the presidency 35
3 Organizing to govern in the separated system 66
4 Public standing of the president 128
5 Presidents, mandates, and agendas 177
6 Presidents and lawmaking in a separated system 221
7 Making laws 254
8 Thinking about change 339
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