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GV369 THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY. LECTURE 1. GV 369. 1. WHY THE PRESIDENCY? 2. A UNITARY INSTITUTION - INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS 3. APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF THE PRESIDENCY - HISTORICAL - QUANITATIVE - BIOGRAPHICAL - THE BARGAINING MODEL

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gv 369
GV 369

1. WHY THE PRESIDENCY?

2. A UNITARY INSTITUTION

- INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS

3. APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF THE PRESIDENCY

- HISTORICAL

- QUANITATIVE

- BIOGRAPHICAL

- THE BARGAINING MODEL

- STRUCTURAL/ DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACHES

- RADICAL APPROACHES

4. LEADERSHIP/PERSONALITY VERSUS STRUCTURE/HISTORICAL

CONTEXT

the presidency and the constitution
THE PRESIDENCY AND THE CONSTITUTION
  • 1. The crisis of the modern presidency –

a constitutional problem?

  • 2. Why in Crisis?

- the separation of powers

- selection process

- burdens of the office – head of state, commander in chief, chief executive, moral

leader, party leader, world leader

- plebiscitary nature of the office

  • 3. How many of these problems derive from the constitutional status of the office

or from factors?

slide4

2. Original intent of Framers – areas of

concern

- Demagoguery –’extremist rhetoric that ministers to fear’ - examples

administration not politics

- Representation

a) sense of people not the peoples’ collective

capacity – electoral college selected by state legislatures and move to direct

election

b) Different lengths of terms corresponding to distance from

people

c) Authority and formal powers derive from constitution not the

people

d) Size and notion of the ‘Compound Republic’

- Independence if the P. and the

separation of powers. Historical precedent – state governors weak in relation to

state legislatures

slide5
Areas of contention

- Executive privilege

- Executive v legislative power – section

3.1 ‘ he shall recommend to their consideration decision such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient....’

- Veto power

- Appointment power

- Treaty power

- Commander in Chief

slide6
4. Constitutional changes

Very few only:

12, 1804 P and VP

20, 1933 – Lame duck session

abolished

22, 1951 limited to 2 terms

25, 1967 reform of succession

- although a number relating to

the franchise

5 how has presidency changed
5. How has Presidency Changed?
  • 1. Huge increase in executive power
  • 2. Popular election and rise of plebiscitary

presidency

  • 3. Related – rise of party
  • 4. International role

BUT fundamentals of the separation of

powers remains – the Constitution

matters

slide9
A. the Founder’s intentions

- above politics; twice removed

from people; avoid demagoguery

- separation of powers

  • B. How it worked in practice:

1. Sporadic prominence, 1789-1865

2. Presidential retreat 1866-1896

3. Populism and progressivism, 1897-1915

4. WW I and after

5. Retreat, 1920-1932

6. Great depression and war, 1933-1945

slide10
C. Presidential prominence, 1946-2007

- Cold war, 1946-1990

- New world order 1991-2001

- Post 9/11 2001-

  • D. Making sense of it all – Skowronek

- Office is constitutionally unchanging

but aptitudes of incumbent varies

- Also society and polity constantly changing

- Concept of Political Regime

skowronek s schema
SKOWRONEK’S SCHEMA

President’s political identity

Previously

established

CommitmentsOpposed Affiliated

Vulnerable reconstruction Disjunction

Resilient Pre-emption Articulation

slide12
Politics of Reconstruction- Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, FDR
  • Politics of Disjunction – Pierce, Buchanan, Hoover, Carter
  • Politics of Articulation- Polk, T. Roosevelt, LBJ
  • Politics of Pre-emption – A. Johnson, WW, RMN and…….
slide13
The Golden Rule:

‘As the POWER of all presidents to get things done has expanded the AUTHORITY to reproduce political ORDER has constricted.’

E. Critiquing Skowronek

- Agency/structure problem

-Only three regimes?

- If permanent pre-emption then what

explanatory power does it have?

us presidency lecture 3 other approaches
US PRESIDENCY: LECTURE 3OTHER APPROACHES
  • A: THE TWO PRESIDENCIES THESIS
  • ‘In the realm of foreign policy there has not been a single major

issue on which presidents, when they were serious and determined,

have failed.’ (Wildavsky, 1966)

- UN; Marshall plan; NATO; Truman Doctrine (containment);

Indo China (1954) and in 1964

  • Why?

- Ubiquity and strength of threat

-Power to act C in C

-Inability of Congress to contain P

slide15
Competitors for control of policy

- all are weak vis a vis P

- the public

- special interests

- Congress

- military

- State department

  • How complete is control?
  • EIGHT YEARS LATER

- status of Cold War

- War powers Act

- VN effect

- Distinction between foreign and domestic policy blurring

slide16
B Since 1970s – thesis has to be modified

four main periods:

1. 1974-1981 presidents in retreat

2. 1981-1986 Reagan ascendant

3. 1987-2001 New World Order?

4. 2001- limits of presidential FP & domestic power

  • Constants

Congress and divided government; use of troops abroad;

budget power; treaty power

slide17
C. THE POST MODERN PRESIDENT
  • Traditional President 1790-1932

- ‘Do nothing’ presidents (except in war)

- size of federal government

- no institutional president

- Few treaties/foreign entanglements

  • The Modern Presidency 1933-1968

- chief legislator

- active in promoting US interests abroad

- visible national leader

- command of resources

- secretariat

- near hegemony

slide18
Post Modern Presidency 1969 –

- White House resources are limited

- Foreign (global) influences restrict freedom

- P.O. fickle, not so manipulable

- Congress more assertive

  • Criticisms

- Traditional P. is a caricature

- Lines between traditional and post modern are blurred

- Is international dimension the real key? Moral issues, polarisation

personality and the presidency
PERSONALITY AND THE PRESIDENCY
  • 1. Personality and political leaders
  • 2. Eysenck and Adorno – authoritarian

personality – but cannot apply in US

- But personality is one independent

variable among several

  • 3. Greenstein 1967 article – objections to

using personality as a variable

slide20
Personality randomly distributed, but….
  • Personalities less NB than social

characteristics, but…

  • Actors are limited by events and context
  • People with different traits will not behave differently in common situations, but…
  • ‘Deep psychological needs do not affect behaviour, but….
slide21
4. Personality and the study of the

presidency

- work of Alexander George

- Barber’s Presidential Character

Two Measures: Emotional satisfaction

from job and Energy invested in the job

Leads to a four way characterisation of

presidents

slide22
Active Positive
  • Active Negative
  • Passive Positive
  • Passive Negative

-Origins of the personality traits

Critique

  • ‘psychologism’ – just four types
  • events v.personality
  • Four ‘ baddies’ very different
  • Today just 2 types – or even one!
slide23
Greenstein’s cautious approach

- Public communication

- Organizational capacity

- Political Skill

- Vision

- Cognitive style

- Emotional intelligence

  • 5. Summing it all up