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The Politics of the Presidency

The Politics of the Presidency

Ninth Edition


January 2016 | 600 pages | CQ Press

Get the most up-to-date coverage and analysis of the presidency with this comprehensive text.

The Politics of the Presidency maintains a balance between historical context and contemporary scholarship on the executive branch, providing a solid foundation for any presidency course. Authors Joseph A. Pika and John Anthony Maltese are joined for the Ninth Edition by new coauthor and noted scholar Andrew Rudalevige as they present a thorough analysis of the change and continuity in the presidency during Barack Obama's two terms in an entrenched partisan environment, discuss the competitive setting for the upcoming 2016 election, and look at the challenges and opportunities a new president will soon face.

Part I: The President and the Public
Chapter 1: The Changing Presidency
The Scope of Presidential Power

Expansion of the Presidency

Presidential Culture

Conclusion: The Changeable, Political Presidency

Suggested Readings

Resources on the Web


Chapter 2: Election Politics
Evolution of the Selection Process

Defining the Pool of Eligibles

Competing for the Nomination

The National Convention

The General Election


Transitions to Governing

Suggested Readings

Resources on the Web


Chapter 3: Public Politics
Public Attitudes toward the Presidency

Rallying Public Support

The President and the Media

Conclusion: The Permanent Campaign

Suggested Readings


Chapter 4: Presidential Character and Performance
Determinants and Evaluations of Performance

What Manner of Person?

Psychological Characteristics

Management Styles of Modern Presidents

Understanding Presidents: George W. Bush and Barack Obama

Conclusion: Seeking Presidential Success

Suggested Readings

Resources on the Web


Part II: The President and the Government
Chapter 5: Legislative Politics
Three Confrontations in Interbranch Relations

Development of the President's Legislative Role

The Presidential--Congressional Relationship

The President's Formal Legislative Powers

The President's Informal Legislative Influence

Explaining Presidents' Legislative Success


Suggested Readings


Chapter 6: Executive Politics
The President as Executive

The President and the Executive Branch

The President and the Cabinet

The Vice President

The First Lady

Presidential Control of the Bureaucracy

Presidential Management of the Bureaucracy


Suggested Readings

Resources on the Web


Chapter 7: Judicial Politics
Presidential Appointment of Federal Judges

Other Presidential Influences on the Federal Courts

Judicial Oversight of Presidential Action


Suggested Readings


Part III: The President and Public Policy
Chapter 8: The Politics of Domestic Policy
The Domestic Policy Process

The Domestic Policy Environment

The Domestic Policy Apparatus


Suggested Readings


Chapter 9: The Politics of Economic Policy
Macroeconomic Policy

Microeconomic Policy

Presidents and the Economy: 1933-2014

The Politics of Macroeconomic Policymaking

The Economic Subpresidency

Presidents and Economic Policy Coordination

Congress's Role in Macroeconomic Policy


Suggested Readings

Resources on the Web


Chapter 10: The Politics of National Security Policy
Issues in National Security Policy: Search for a New Consensus

The Problem with National Security Policymaking

The President, Congress, and National Security

Organizing and Managing National Security


Suggested Readings


Chapter 11: The Challenges and Opportunities of a New President
Continuity and Change in the Presidency

Leadership in an Age of Dissensus




The Politics of the Presidency is well-designed and -written, easy for students to comprehend, and all-around useful in laying out the key facets and concepts of the American presidency. It is deep in its material without being dense and approachable without sacrificing rigor. I have not seen a text on the American presidency that does a better job of laying clear the history, powers, and limitations of the modern chief executive.”

Michael Julius
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

 “The authors’ approach puts politics front and center in the study of the presidency. The Politics of the Presidency is clearly the work of senior scholars who have devoted many years to the study of the presidency and scholarship on the office. They know a lot about the office and convey what they know to students in a well-organized and well-written manner.”

Andrew Battista
East Tennessee State University

 “I use The Politics of the Presidency in my undergraduate presidency courses because the essential topics are thoroughly covered in a style that is both readable and interesting. The cases and examples are always well-chosen and up-to-date, and the special circumstances and challenges facing the current president can be easily compared to enduring presidential responsibilities such as domestic politics, economic policy, and national security.”

Bruce Buchanan
University of Texas at Austin
Key features
  • Thorough review of the changes in the presidential selection process heading into 2016, including dramatic changes in funding
  • Expanded discussion of presidents exercising power unilaterally, incorporating new research and examples from the Obama presidency
  • Updated coverage of the extensive partisan struggles between President Obama and Congress and the growth of polarization
  • Detailed examination of the challenges of implementing Obamacare and restoring economic growth
  • Expanded discussions of executive agreements, authorizations to use force, and the use of covert operations
  • Includes a new discussion on the influence of the First Lady
  • Comprehensive, easy-to-understand analysis of the presidency
  • "Resources on the Web" sections offer readers an opportunity to pursue topics of interest
  • Up-to-date coverage of

o    the 2016 election;

o    Obama’s record in the second-term;

o    budget politics;

o    polarized politics;

o    Supreme Court rulings on key issues;

o    Obama’s use of new media;

o    major policies such as the U.S. exit strategy for Afghanistan, immigration reform, efforts to stimulate economic growth, healthcare reform; and

o    U.S. negotiations with Iran on nuclear development, growing reliance on covert operations, and U.S. responses to the rise of the group Islamic State, Syrian civil war, and Egyptian counter-revolution.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

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ISBN: 9781483375632