One way presidents can influence the permanent bureaucracy is by filling key posts with people who are sympathetic to their policy goals. But if the president's appointees lack competence and an agency fails in its mission--as with Katrina--the president is accused of employing his friends and allies to the detriment of the public. Through case studies and cutting-edge analysis, David Lewis takes a fascinating look at presidential appointments dating back to the 1960s to learn which jobs went to appointees, which agencies were more likely to have appointees, how the use of appointees varied by administration, and how it affected agency performance. He argues that presidents politicize even when it hurts performance--and often with support from Congress--because they need agencies to be responsive to presidential direction. He shows how agency missions and personnel--and whether they line up with the president's vision--determine which agencies presidents target with appointees, and he sheds new light on the important role patronage plays in appointment decisions.
Throughout U.S. history, going back to the Louisiana Purchase and the Emancipation Proclamation, presidents have set landmark policies on their own. More recently, Roosevelt interned Japanese Americans during World War II, Kennedy established the Peace Corps, Johnson got affirmative action underway, Reagan greatly expanded the president's powers of regulatory review, and Clinton extended protections to millions of acres of public lands. Since September 11, Bush has created a new cabinet post and constructed a parallel judicial system to try suspected terrorists.
Howell not only presents numerous new empirical findings but goes well beyond the theoretical scope of previous studies. Drawing richly on game theory and the new institutionalism, he examines the political conditions under which presidents can change policy without congressional or judicial consent. Clearly written, Power without Persuasion asserts a compelling new formulation of presidential power, one whose implications will resound.
This clever and accessible book shows that the difference between tyrants and democrats is just a convenient fiction. Governments do not differ in kind but only in the number of essential supporters, or backs that need scratching. The size of this group determines almost everything about politics: what leaders can get away with, and the quality of life or misery under them. The picture the authors paint is not pretty. But it just may be the truth, which is a good starting point for anyone seeking to improve human governance.
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene is a self-help book offering advice on how to gain and maintain power, using lessons drawn from parables and the experiences of historical figures.
Power depends on the relationships between a person and those he or she seeks to control. Powerful people must cultivate their appearances to earn respect and eliminate doubt. They must practice selective honesty, misdirection, and an excess of secrecy to gain a tactical advantage. Timing is central to maintaining power, as is the ability to adapt. The array of strategies available when seeking power include mirroring the opponent’s actions and controlling the opponent’s options for action. The powerful must also cultivate a relationship with audiences by creating spectacles and feeding their need to believe in the impossible.PLEASE NOTE: This is key takeaways and analysis of the book and NOT the original book.
Inside this Instaread Summary of The 48 Laws of Power:
· Overview of the book
· Important People
· Key Takeaways
· Analysis of Key Takeaways