Scripted for Change
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Scripted for Change : The Institutionalization of the American Presidency

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Without a doubt, the institution of the presidency today is quite different from the one that existed throughout the early part of the nation's history, despite only minimal revisions to its formal constitutional structure. The processes by which the institution of the presidency has developed have remained largely unexamined, however. Victoria A. Farrar-Myers offers a carefully crafted argument about how changes in presidential authority transform the institution. Her analysis tracks interactions between the president and Congress during the years 1881-1920 in three policy areas: the commitment of troops, the creation of administrative agencies, and the adoption of tariff policy. Farrar-Myers shows that Congress and the president have in fact "created a coordinated script that provides the basis of precedent for future interactions under similar circumstances." Changes in presidential authority, she argues, "are the residual of everyday actions," which create new shared understandings of expected behavior. As these understandings are reinforced over time, they become interwoven into the institution of the presidency itself. Farrar-Myers' analysis will offer theoretical guidance for political scientists' understanding of the development of presidential authority and the processes that drive the institutionalization of the presidency, and will provide historians with a nuanced understanding of the institution from the period between the end of Reconstruction and the Progressive era.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 276 pages
  • 152.4 x 246.38 x 27.94mm | 385.55g
  • Texas A & M University Press
  • College Station, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 4 tables, 3 figures, bibliography, index
  • 1585445851
  • 9781585445851

About Victoria A. Farrar-Myers

VICTORIA A. FARRAR-MYERS is an associate professor of political science at the University of Texas at Arlington. She specializes in presidential-congressional relations, separation of powers, and campaign finance reform and has authored or coauthored books, articles, and chapters on both Congress and the presidency. Her Ph.D. is from the University at Albany, SUNY.show more

Review quote

If the embryo of the modern presidency is found in the Constitution, its maturation traces to the turn of the twentieth century. In this ambitious book, Farrar-Myers applies historical institutionalism to explore cases in domestic and foreign policy from Cleveland to Wilson to illuminate how coordinated scripting between president and Congress shaped both the structure and behavior of these institutions. Her cases are compelling, her analysis trenchant, and her conclusions revealing for what they say about the contemporary presidency and Congress. This is a thoughtful and important book.--Robert J. Spitzer, SUNY Cortland -- Robert J. Spitzer, SUNY Cortland "If the embryo of the modern presidency is found in the Constitution, its maturation traces to the turn of the twentieth century. In this ambitious book, Farrar-Myers applies historical institutionalism to explore cases in domestic and foreign policy from Cleveland to Wilson to illuminate how 'coordinated scripting' between president and Congress shaped both the structure and behavior of these institutions. Her cases are compelling, her analysis trenchant, and her conclusions revealing for what they say about the contemporary presidency and Congress. This is a thoughtful and important book."--Robert J. Spitzer, SUNY Cortlandshow more