William G. Howell is an associate professor in the Government Department at Harvard University and deputy director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard.
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.
Howell shows that an appetite for power may not inform the original motivations of those who seek to become president. Rather, this need is built into the office of the presidency itself--and quickly takes hold of whoever bears the title of Chief Executive. In order to understand the modern presidency, and the degrees to which a president succeeds or fails, the acquisition, protection, and expansion of power in a president's political life must be recognized--in policy tools and legislative strategies, the posture taken before the American public, and the disregard shown to those who would counsel modesty and deference within the White House.
Thinking about the Presidency assesses how the search for and defense of presidential powers informs nearly every decision made by the leader of the nation. In a new preface, Howell reflects on presidential power during the presidency of Barack Obama.
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Learn how American politics affect public policy
Government in America : People, Politics and Policy - 2016 Presidential Election(Subscription), 17/e, explores our government’s impact on the daily lives of Americans by focusing on public policy. Authors George Edwards and Martin Wattenberg provide a framework for students to understand the difficult questions that decision makers of both political parties are facing: How should we govern? And, what should government do? In order to boost student engagement with key concepts, the 2016 Elections incorporates coverage of contemporary issues that dominate today’s headlines, as well as the most up-to-date data.