Managing the President's Program : Presidential Leadership and Legislative Policy Formulation / Andrew Rudalevige.Material type: BookSeries: Princeton Studies in American Politics: Historical, International, and Comparative Perspectives ; 81.Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, Copyright date: ©2002Description: 1 online resource.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780691190266.Subject(s): Political leadership -- United States | Political planning -- United States | Presidents -- United States | POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political PartiesDDC classification: 352.25/60973 Online resources: Click here to access online | Cover
Frontmatter -- CONTENTS -- LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES -- PREFACE -- CHAPTER ONE. Managing the President's Program: Necessary and Contingent Truths -- CHAPTER TWO. Bargaining, Transaction Costs, and Contingent Centralization -- CHAPTER THREE. The President's Program: History and Conventional Wisdom -- CHAPTER FOUR. The President's Program: An Empirical Overview -- CHAPTER FIVE. Putting Centralization to the Test -- CHAPTER SIX. Congress Is a Whiskey Drinker: Centralization and Legislative Success -- CHAPTER SEVEN. The Odds Are with the House: The Limits of Centralization -- CHAPTER EIGHT. Hard Choices -- Appendix: Additional Data and Alternate Specifications -- Notes -- References -- Index
The belief that U.S. presidents' legislative policy formation has centralized over time, shifting inexorably out of the executive departments and into the White House, is shared by many who have studied the American presidency. Andrew Rudalevige argues that such a linear trend is neither at all certain nor necessary for policy promotion. In Managing the President's Program, he presents a far more complex and interesting picture of the use of presidential staff. Drawing on transaction cost theory, Rudalevige constructs a framework of "contingent centralization" to predict when presidents will use White House and/or departmental staff resources for policy formulation. He backs his assertions through an unprecedented quantitative analysis of a new data set of policy proposals covering almost fifty years of the postwar era from Truman to Clinton. Rudalevige finds that presidents are not bound by a relentless compulsion to centralize but follow a more subtle strategy of staff allocation that makes efficient use of limited bargaining resources. New items and, for example, those spanning agency jurisdictions, are most likely to be centralized; complex items follow a mixed process. The availability of expertise outside the White House diminishes centralization. However, while centralization is a management strategy appropriate for engaging the wider executive branch, it can imperil an item's fate in Congress. Thus, as this well-written book makes plain, presidential leadership hinges on hard choices as presidents seek to simultaneously manage the executive branch and attain legislative success.
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