The Law & Order Presidency

The Law & Order Presidency

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For Criminal Justice courses in Policy and History, as well as Political Science courses in the American Presidency.

Documenting the nationalization and federalization of crime over the last half of the twentieth century, this text demonstrates the role the American President has played in shaping public opinion and policy of crime at the federal level. The author uses both case studies and quantitative data to test hypotheses and illustrate assumptions, analyzes the implications of findings and demonstrates the new law and order role for the President of the United States.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 178 x 234 x 22mm | 598.74g
  • Pearson
  • Upper Saddle River, NJ, United States
  • English
  • 0130260843
  • 9780130260840

Back cover copy

Oliver argues that over time, especially in the latter half of the twentieth century, the American presidency has carved out a new role for the President of the United States, namely the chief executive of issues related to law and order. Presidents have assumed a larger role in criminal justice issues; the author explores the reasons why and demonstrates how presidents have become more involved. He then argues that this has had a profound impact upon public opinion of crime and, as a result, presidents have become a central influence in shaping public perception of crime in America.
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Table of contents


1. A History of Presidents and Crime Policy.

2. Why Crime?

3. How Presidents Promote Crime Policy.

4. Do Presidents Influence Public Opinion of Crime?

5. Conclusions.

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Review quote

"The book is both well researched and well written. The central topic is interesting and gets you to look at presidential involvement in criminal justice in a new light. It's a pretty easy read that provides interesting insights into bow the executive branch works. I also like the author's objectivity (neither "pro" Democrat or Republican) and his willingness to delve into 'touchy' subjects like racism." - Tere Chipman, Fayetteville Technical Community College

"Oliver lays out a very enlightening history of the federalization of crime policy. Although the Constitution seems to assign law and order concerns to the states, Oliver sketches well the growth and development o f crime as a presidential policy issue." - David G. Williams, West Virginia University
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About Willard M. Oliver

Willard M. Oliver is an assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Radford University in Virginia. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from West Virginia University. He is the author of Community-Oriented Policing: A Systemic Approach to Policing, Second Edition (Prentice Hall, 2001) and the editor of Community Policing: Classical Readings (Prentice Hall, 2000). He has published numerous scholarly articles and book reviews in such journals as American Journal of Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Review, Criminal Justice Policy Review, Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Justice Quarterly Police Quarterly, Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, and Police Practice and Research: An International Journal. He is also a former police officer and military police officer. Finally, and most importantly, he is a husband and father of three boys and a girl.
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