United States. Congress -- Political activity, Presidents -- Political activity, Policy sciences -- United States, Domestic policy -- United States, International relations -- Political aspects, Decision-making -- Political aspects, National security -- United States, and United States -- Political aspects
Recent research on congressional-executive relations has concluded that partisan and ideological forces explaining decision making in domestic policy have also become dominant in the realm of foreign policy. Accordingly, scholars have inferred the effective demise of the two-presidencies. In this analysis, the authors compare models explaining bipartisan congressional support of the president on domestic issues with that of foreign and defense. Although factors relating to the congressional context tended to be influential in both policy areas, they found important differences in the effects of factors relating to the international context. They also found that congressional bipartisan support was significantly less likely on matters related to the purse strings and on issues such as trade. The contrasting effects of the explanatory factors across policy areas suggest the importance of both the two-presidencies and resurgent Congress perspectives in explaining congressional-executive interactions.
United States. Congress -- Political activity, Presidents -- Political activity, Conservatism -- Analysis, War and emergency powers -- Analysis, Executive power -- United States, Heads of state -- Powers and duties, United States -- Political aspects, and United States
Presidents -- Political activity, Policy sciences -- Evaluation, International relations -- Political aspects, Domestic policy -- Evaluation, and United States -- Political aspects
Aaron Wildavsky first proposed that presidents in the United States receive more support from Congress in foreign policy and thus can expect to wield more influence and discretion in this policy arena. Since that time, scholars have scrutinized Wildavsky's contention. A recent work by Fleisher et al., using a new measure of presidential support, argues convincingly that broad generalizations about the phenomenon of increased presidential support in foreign policy must be drawn tentatively. This article addresses the two-presidencies thesis in three ways. First, the authors replicate a portion of Edwards's research to illustrate the reliability of our results. Second, the authors extend the data collection on more traditional measures used to test this thesis. Third, to address the issue of intermestic policy, the authors employ a new measure of presidential support that more carefully defines foreign and domestic policy actions. The analyses confirm the findings of Fleisher et al. and Edwards that the two-presidencies phenomenon is largely idiographic.
Presidents -- Political activity, Administrative agencies -- United States, Community development -- Political aspects, Economic development -- Social aspects, Economic Opportunity Act, and United States -- Political aspects
The Community Action Program (CAP) was one of the highest-profile but least successful of President Johnson's Great Society programs. Pluralist and neo-Marxist theories hold that the origins of CAP and the problems that the program encountered were rooted in the politics of interest group and racial conflict, respectively. Drawing on archival evidence, this article turns attention to the important, yet forgotten, administrative dimension of CAP. The decentralized features of CA P were developed as a strategy to manage the federal bureaucracy and avoid conflict with Congress. Ultimately, CAP floundered as the decentralized control of the program freed it from the political control of the White House. The article concludes with a discussion of the problems presidents face in managing the federal bureaucracy and how the development of CAP reflects Johnson's management style in enacting domestic policy goals.
Presidents -- Political activity, Political systems -- Analysis, Domestic policy -- Analysis, Government programs -- Analysis, and United States -- Political aspects
What has caused the secular (long-term) decline in presidential domestic policy-making activities over the past several decades? In a previously published article in this journal, Paul Light provides several interesting speculative reasons for this trend. I propose a general explanation for the secular decline in presidential domestic policy making that centers on the rising organizational size and scope of the institutional presidency. Specifically. I argue that the American presidency's greater than optimal organizational size and scope has hurt its domestic policy-making activities in absolute terms. The suboptimal organizational size and scope of the presidency has also led to a deterioration of its institutional comparative advantage in policymaking activities vis-a-vis Congress. Therefore, twenty-first century American presidents possess a strong incentive to restrict the organizational size and scope of the Executive Office of the President as a means to strive for optimal institutional performance.