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Presidential Leadership

The Vortex of Power

Edited by Bert A. Rockman and Richard W. Waterman

Publication Date - July 2007

ISBN: 9780195332513

260 pages

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $84.99

This collection of compelling essays looks at presidential leadership from a variety of perspectives, integrating cutting-edge research on both the incentives and the constraints of the presidency.


Presidents are expected to demonstrate strong leadership skills and are quickly criticized when they do not. But what, precisely, does leadership entail? And how can we better analyze and understand the complexities of presidential leadership?

A collection of compelling analyses by eminent scholars, Presidential Leadership: The Vortex of Power looks at presidential leadership from a variety of perspectives, integrating cutting-edge research on both the incentives and the constraints presidents face in their attempts to lead the country. These original readings contextualize presidential leadership in relation to Congress, the courts, the bureaucracy, the media, and the public. Furthermore, the essays include discussions on executive decision making and both domestic and national security issues.

With its central role in the American political system yet limited capacity to influence the public's view, the presidency presents an intriguing subject for inquiry. Editors Bert A. Rockman and Richard W. Waterman examine different frameworks for understanding the conditions of leadership and provide an evaluation of the leading theories of presidential leadership.

Presidential Leadership will serve as an important new resource for judging presidents in office by offering novel ways of thinking about the presidency and by providing a comprehensive examination of presidential leadership.

About the Author(s)

Bert A. Rockman is Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science at Purdue University. He is coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of Political Institutions (OUP, 2006), The George W. Bush Presidency: Appraisals and Prospects (2004), and coauthor of In the Web of Politics: Three Decades of the U.S. Federal Executive (2000). He has also served as editor of Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions.

Richard W. Waterman is Professor of Political Science at the University of Kentucky. He is author of The Changing American Presidency (2003) and coauthor of The Image-Is-Everything Presidency: Dilemmas in American Leadership (1999), Enforcing the Law: The Case of the Clean Water Acts (1996), and Bureaucratic Dynamics: The Role of Bureaucracy in a Democracy (1994).

Table of Contents

    1. What Is Presidential Leadership?, Richard W. Waterman and Bert A. Rockman
    2. A New Model of Presidential Leadership: Controlling the Bureaucracy, Jeffrey A. Fine and Richard W. Waterman
    3. A Primer on the President's Legislative Program, Charles M. Cameron and Jee-Kwang Park
    4. Conditional Presidential Leadership: Pivotal Players, Gridlock, and Delegation, David Epstein, Ida Pagter Kristensen, and Sharyn O'Halloran
    5. Power Without Persuasion: Identifying Executive Influence, William Howell and Douglas Kriner
    6. Impediments to Presidential Leadership: The Limitations of the Permanent Campaign and Going Public Strategies, George C. Edwards III
    7. Presidential Leadership in an Age of New Media, Jeffrey E. Cohen
    8. Which Presidents Are Uncommonly Successful in Congress?, Richard Fleisher, Jon R. Bond, and B. Dan Wood
    9. The Politicized Judiciary: A Threat to Executive Power, Forrest Maltzman
    10. The Evolution of the Institutional Presidency: Presidential Choices, Institutional Change, and Staff Performance, David E. Lewis
    11. Understanding Presidential Personality, Fred I. Greenstein
    12. The Politics of Persuasion: A Bargaining Model of Presidential Power, Matthew J. Dickinson