Institutions of American Democracy: The Executive Branch

Institutions of American Democracy: The Executive Branch

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The presidency and the agencies of the executive branch are deeply interwoven with other core institutions of American government and politics. While the framers of the Constitution granted power to the president, they likewise imbued the legislative and judicial branches of government with the powers necessary to hold the executive in check. The Executive Branch, edited by Joel D. Aberbach and Mark A. Peterson, examines the delicate and shifting balance among the three branches of government, which is constantly renegotiated as political leaders contend with the public's paradoxical sentiments-yearning for strong executive leadership yet fearing too much executive power, and welcoming the benefits of public programs yet uneasy about, and indeed often distrusting, big government. The Executive Branch, a collection of essays by some of the nation's leading political scientists and public policy scholars, examines the historical emergence and contemporary performance of the presidency and bureaucracy, as well as their respective relationships with the Congress, the courts, political parties, and American federalism. Presidential elections are defining moments for the nation's democracy-by linking citizens directly to their government, elections serve as a mechanism for exercising collective public choice. After the election, however, the work of government begins and involves elected and appointed political leaders at all levels of government, career civil servants, government contractors, interest organizations, the media, and engaged citizens. The essays in this volume delve deeply into the organizations and politics that make the executive branch such a complex and fascinating part of American government. The volume provides an assessment from the past to the present of the role and development of the presidency and executive branch agencies, including analysis of the favorable and problematic strategies, and personal attributes, that presidents have brought to the challenge of leadership. It examines the presidency and the executive agencies both separately and together as they influence-or are influenced by-other major institutions of American government and politics, with close attention to how they relate to civic participation and democracy.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 640 pages
  • 165.1 x 233.7 x 55.9mm | 1,065.95g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 22 line illus.
  • 0195173937
  • 9780195173932
  • 1,986,831

About Joel D. Aberbach

Joel D. Aberbach is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Director of the Center for American Politics and Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Aberbach's research focuses on American and comparative politics, with emphasis on legislative-executive relations and broader issues of executive politics and policy making. His books includeIn the Web of Politics: Three Decades of the U.S. Federal Executive, which he coauthored with Bert A. Rockman, and Keeping a Watchful Eye: The Politics of Congressional Oversight. He is cochair of the Research Committee on Structure and Organization of Government of the International Political Science Association. He has been a Fellow at both the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Mark A. Peterson is Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Peterson is a scholar of American national institutions, focusing on the presidency, Congress, and interest groups, as well as national healthcare policy making. Former chair of the Department of Public Policy, he has been a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and worked in the U.S. Senate. He is chair of the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Scholars in Health Policy Research Program. His writings includeLegislating Together: The White House and Capitol Hill from Eisenhower to Reagan.show more

Table of contents

DIRECTORY OF CONTRIBUTORS ; GENERAL INTRODUCTION: The Executive Branch as an Institution of American Constitutional Democracy ; INTRODUCTION: Presidents and Bureaucrats: The Executive Branch and American Democracy ; SECTION I: THE HISTORICAL AND COMPARATIVE CONTEXT ; 1. The Evolution of the Presidency: Between the Promise and the Fear ; 2. The Evolution of National Bureaucracy in the United States ; 3. Giving Direction to Government in Comparative Perspective ; SECTION II: PRESIDENTIAL BEHAVIOR AND THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE PRESIDENCY ; 4. Presidential Elections and American Democracy ; 5. The Executive Office of the President: The Paradox of Politicization ; 6. Communicating from the White House: Presidential Narrowcasting and the National Interest ; 7. The Person of the President, Leadership, and Greatness ; SECTION III: THE PEOPLE AND POLITICS OF THE EXECUTIVE AGENCIES ; 8. The Complex Organization of the Executive Branch: The Legacies of Competing Approaches to Administration ; 9. The Federal Public Service: The People and the Challenge ; 10. Caught in the Middle: The President, Congress, and the Political-Bureaucratic System ; 11. Reforming the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government ; SECTION IV: THE PRESIDENT, EXECUTIVE AGENCIES, AND THE INSTITUTIONS OF POLICY MAKING ; 12. Executive Power and Political Parties: The Dilemmas of Scale in American Democracy ; 13. The Executive Branch and the Legislative Process ; 14. The Courts, Jurisprudence, and the Executive Branch ; 15. Federalism and the Executive Branch ; SECTION V: THE PAST AND FUTURE OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH ; 16. Control and Accountability: Dilemmas of the Executive Branch ; INDEXshow more

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