In this Book

summary
The US Constitution recognizes the president as the sole legal head of the executive branch. Despite this constitutional authority, the president’s actual control over administration varies significantly in practice from one president to the next. Presidential Control over Administration provides a new approach for studying the presidency and policymaking that centers on this critical and often overlooked historical variable.

To explain the different configurations of presidential control over administration that recur throughout history—collapse, innovation, stabilization, and constraint—O’Brien develops a new theory that incorporates historical variation in a combination of key restrictions such as time, knowledge, and the structure of government as well as key incentives such as providing acceptable performance and implementing preferred policies. O’Brien then tests the argument by tracing the policymaking process in the domain of public finance across nearly a century of history, beginning with President Herbert Hoover during the Great Depression and ending with the first two years of the Trump presidency. Although the book focuses on historical variation in presidential control, especially during the New Deal era and the Reagan era, the theory and empirical analysis are highly relevant for recent incumbents. In particular, O’Brien shows that during the Great Recession and beyond the initial efforts of Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump to change the established course during a period of unified party control of the government were largely undercut by each president’s limited control over administration.

Presidential Control over Administration is a groundbreaking contribution to our understanding of the presidency and policymaking.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half title, Series page, Title, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface and Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xiii
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  1. Part I: A New Historical Approach for Studying the Presidency and Policymaking
  1. 1. Introduction
  2. pp. 3-22
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  1. 2. A Theory of Historical Variation in Presidential Control
  2. pp. 23-42
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  1. Part II: A Quantitative Overview of Historical Variation in Public-Finance Policymaking
  1. 3. Public-Finance Problems, Prioritization, Administration, and Policy
  2. pp. 45-78
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  1. Part III: Historical Variation in Presidential Control during the New Deal Era
  1. 4. Collapse: The Failing New Era Apparatus Limits Hoover's Control
  2. pp. 81-92
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  1. 5. Innovation: Roosevelt Strengthens His Control in Restructuring the Policy Domain
  2. pp. 93-112
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  1. 6. Stabilization: Truman Relinquishes His Control in Securing the Policy Domain
  2. pp. 113-127
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  1. 7. Constraint: The New Deal-Era Apparatus Limits Eisenhower's Control
  2. pp. 128-148
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  1. Part IV: Historical Variation in Presidential Control during the Reagan Era
  1. 8. Collapse: The Failing New Deal-Era Apparatus Limits Carter's Control
  2. pp. 151-161
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  1. 9. Innovation: Reagan Strengthens His Control in Restructuring the Policy Domain
  2. pp. 162-182
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  1. 10. Stabilization: Bush Relinquishes His Control in Securing the Policy Domain
  2. pp. 183-196
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  1. 11. Constraint: The Reagan-Era Apparatus Limits Clinton's Control
  2. pp. 197-216
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  1. Part V: Historical Variation in Presidential Control during the Great Recession and Beyond
  1. 12. The Reagan-Era Apparatus Limits Obama's Control in Managing the Great Recession
  2. pp. 219-240
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  1. 13. A Preliminary Examination of Trump's Control
  2. pp. 241-259
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  1. 14. Conclusion
  2. pp. 260-268
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  1. Appendix: A Statistical Analysis of Public-Finance Administration
  2. pp. 269-272
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 273-312
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 313-323
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  1. Back Cover
  2. p. 324
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780700632978
Related ISBN(s)
9780700632961
MARC Record
OCLC
1313075686
Pages
344
Launched on MUSE
2022-05-20
Language
English
Open Access
No
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