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The Institutional Presidency (Interpreting American Politics)

John P. Burke

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ISBN 10: 0801843154 / ISBN 13: 9780801843150
Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992
Used Condition: Fair
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Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP88304039

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Institutional Presidency (Interpreting ...

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Publication Date: 1992

Book Condition:Fair

About this title


When Franklin Roosevelt decided his administration needed a large executive staff, he instituted dramatic and lasting changes in the federal bureaucracy and in the very nature of the presidency. Today, no president can govern without an enormous White House staff. Yet analysts have disagreed about whether the key to a president's success lies in his ability to understand and adapt to the constraints of this bureaucracy or in his ability to control and even transform it to suit his needs.

In The Institutional Presidency John Burke argues that both skills are crucial. Burke examines how the White House staff system--larger and more powerful than ever--interacts with a particular president's management ability and style. He begins by describing the institutional presidency that emerged during the Roosevelt administration and that every modern president inherits. Burke's central argument is that analysts and advisers must examine both the management style of individual presidents and the institutional features of the presidency that transcend particular administrations. The success of an administration, he argues, lies in the degree to which the two models can be drawn upon in the day-to-day work of defining and furthering the president's agenda.

Burke concludes with a detailed comparison of the Carter and Reagan administrations. He describes Carter as a variant of the collegial manager, and Reagan as more formalistic. In spite of very different approaches to the presidency, he observes, neither was a particularly successful manager--and both experienced tellingly similar difficulties coping with the institutional dynamics of the White House staff. Burke also makes some preliminary observations about George Bush--who combines "Eisenhower's more formal procedures with Kennedy's informal, collegial style."

About the Author:

John P. Burke is associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Vermont. He is co-author of How Presidents Test Reality: Decisions on Vietnam, 1954 and 1965 and author of Bureaucratic Responsibility, the latter available from Johns Hopkins.

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