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Politicians, pundits, and the general public may be excused for often forgetting that the president of the United States is supposed to be an executive ; the president’s role as initiator and crafter of public policy in the legislative process tends to overshadow his role as the nation’s chief executive officer. Mid-level appointments and management directives are not the stuff of stump speeches or State of the Union addresses. A president overlooks his executive functions at his peril, however. His policy agenda is only as good as his administration’s ability to turn the­ organizational apparatus of government—including its legions of career­ bureaucrats—to his will. That isn’t easy. A scholarly and political conventional wisdom has developed around the idea that bureaucratic careerists are consummate conservers interested in defending the status quo against popularly mandated presidential action. In this view, the president’s appointees must advance the president’s agenda through careerists who are recalcitrant at best, and saboteurs at worst. Proceeding from this adversarial posture, the normative prescription for appointees is to exclude careerists from the process of policy formulation and use them to implement isolated policies with little sense of the president’s broader policy agenda. Keep careerists in the dark about the president’s true agenda, and they won’t be able to subvert it, goes the reasoning. The result of this pervasive distrust is what Sanera (1984) has called “jigsaw puzzle” management, where careerists focus on individual pieces while intentionally kept ignorant of the appointees’ strategic aims. William G. Resh’s Rethinking the Administrative Presidency: Trust, Intellectual Capital, and Appointee-Careerist Relations in the George W. Bush Administration questions the fundamental assumption of inevitable distrust between appointee and careerist. In this careful study of the George W. Bush administration, Resh approaches the managerial presidency from an organizational theory perspective and shows how a president’s activist agenda can be carried forward effectively by appointees through optimistic trust Series Editors’ Foreword x Series Editors’ Foreword in career bureaucrats. With a deft mixture of interviews and quantitative analysis of survey data, Resh shows that rather than dividing and isolating careerists from the president’s strategic ends with “jigsaw” management, successful Bush administration appointees built managerial “joists,” or interlacing systems of interpersonal trust and mutual support between political and organizational actors. By regarding careerists as experts and professionals rather than adversaries, those appointees effectively tapped careerists ’ expertise. The kind of trust that characterizes Resh’s joist-building appointees is not Pollyanna naiveté. Indeed, Resh argues that the “joist management” that some Bush appointees employed was a rational and calculated means of leveraging careerists’ intellectual capital in pursuit of the administration’s policy goals. With this argument, Resh challenges directly the received wisdom on presidential management and offers a profound revision to it. Presidents with ambitious policy agendas should urge their appointees systematically to build trust with their careerists, not corner and quarantine them. In short, Resh has shifted the scholarly discourse on the managerial presidency and rewritten the presidential playbook. By contributing to the study of politics, public policy, and public management , this volume fits squarely with the purpose of the Johns Hopkins University Press series Studies in American Public Policy and Management. We encourage work that addresses contemporary American public policy and management issues with theoretically rich and empirically robust research . Books in the series take up public policy, politics, public administration , and/or public management. We proceed from the premise that public policy effectiveness is inevitably linked with public management and administration , and that public policy, administration, and management are irreducibly political. Contributions to Studies in American Public Policy and Management generally center on the United States and on issues that are national in scope, but we are also interested in projects that deal with policy and­ management at the state and local levels. Books in the series are written for a scholarly audience of academics and students but also have an eye toward application and relevance to working policymakers and public administrators . We hope that the books in the series advance academic thinking while Series Editors’ Foreword xi enlightening our understanding of how to address pressing public policy and management challenges effectively. Manuel P. Teodoro Texas A&M University David M. Konisky Georgetown University This page intentionally left blank ...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781421418506
Related ISBN
9781421418490
MARC Record
OCLC
922889469
Pages
176
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-13
Language
English
Open Access
No
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