Domestic Policy and Ideology: Presidents and the American State, 1964-1987

Domestic Policy and Ideology: Presidents and the American State, 1964-1987

by David McKay


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The presidential leadership in America can and does make a great deal of difference as to what is debated and eventually legislated. At the same time presidents are obviously constrained by what is always a complex and difficult political environment. This study examines the interaction between presidential policy preferences and the political environment, concentrating on welfare and urban policy and intergovernmental relations under Johnson, Nixon, Carter, and Reagan. The author traces the origins of domestic initiatives, assesses the intellectual coherence of policies, and examines the way in which the four presidents adapted their strategies according to the fortunes and experience of implementing policies. He measures the independent influence of the White House on policy and draws conclusions for theories of American political development, in particular for the opportunities and constraints provided by the fragmentation of the New Deal political regime.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521102209
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/01/2008
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.55(d)

Table of Contents

Preface and acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; 1. The presidency, public policy and American political development; 2. Explaining federal spending; 3. Lyndon Johnson: executive-led ideology; 4. Richard Nixon: reluctant reformer?; 5. Carter and the politics of confusion; 6. Disengagement under Reagan: I. The new federalism; 7. Disengagement under Reagan: II. A centralist strategy for devolution; 8. The presidency and regime fragmentation; Notes; Index.

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