There is no doubt that the Presidency of the United States is the single most important governmental institution in the world. Yet, in the media and the popular interpretations the very complex institution of Presidency is personalized and oversimplified. In this course we seek to understand the following aspects of this very complex institution: a- what is the role of the institution of presidency in the American political system and its powers; b- how the institution of presidency functions and how the institutional components interact together; c- how the presidents are elected; d- what is their relationship to the American people; d- how do they interact with the other branches of the government; e- how this institution has evolved since its founding more than two hundred years ago; f- how the leadership style and personal skills of a president affect the institution and the system; and finally, g- how the presidents themselves viewed the institution, its powers and their duties.
The course is organized in seven sections. In the first section, we examine theories of presidency. In the second section we examine the presidency in a historical context beginning with the cultural and legal foundations and continuing with the expansion of presidency to our times. In the third section, we overview the process of becoming a president. In the fourth section we examine the nuts and bolts of the institution. In the fifth and sixth section we examine the various roles it plays in the political system. We begin with the role the institution of presidency plays in the politics, continue with public politics and the presidential character, and conclude with an overview of the role the Presidency plays in the governing of the country and in the international relations. In the final section, we will focus on several presidencies seeking to compare how the various presidents have viewed their office, its powers and their duties as well as how they have influenced it.
More than four absences will affect your grade adversely.
Although I will lecture extensively, I expect active, meaningful, and informed
participation (I have no problem with calling on people to participate). Hence,
I expect the students to have read assigned materials for the course by the
session for which they are assigned. Both the midterm and the final exam are
take-home exams. You will have four to five days to work on each of them. They
must be between 1100-1300 words. You are also required to examine a singular
aspect of the current presidency. Your analysis must be written as a 1300 words
memo addressed to the President Bush based on the readings for this course and
on the materials you will present in your port-folio (20-25 articles from newspapers,
journals, and magazines). Memo samples will be provided by the second week of
the course. GRADING:
Your grading for this class will be based on the following: Midterm:
25%; Final Exam 30 %; Participation 10%: Term Paper 35%. Active participation
helps a lot.READINGS:
There are two books required for this course both available to the NYU Bookstore. Also, some articles are put on the Reserve at Bobst Library Reserve. These are indicated by a star sign (*). Joseph A. Pika, John Anthony Maltese, and Norman C. Thomas, The Politics of Presidency 5th edition: Washington D.C.: CQ Press, 2002. Sidney Milkis and Michael Nelson, The American Presidency: Origins and Development, 1776-2000 3rd edition Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2000.
In addition, the students must be adjourned with the current events. There is no better way of understanding an institution than following its daily activity. Armed with tools to understand the functioning of the institution we will constantly refer to the arguments regarding it, the policies that it makes, the role it plays and even to the controversies surrounding it. therefore, the daily reading of the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, and The Los Angeles Times is a must. Subscription at any of these newspapers is encouraged, although most articles are found in the web.
Thursday, September 5, 2002: Introduction to the Course
* Michael Nelson, “Evaluating the Presidency” in The Presidency and the Political System 6th ed. Washington D.C.: CQ Press, 2000: 3-28.
1. THEORIES OF PRESIDENCY
Tuesday September 10, 2002: Theories of Presidency and the American Political System
* Richard Neustadt, Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents: The Politics of Leadership. New York: Macmillan, 1990: 3-49.
* Lawrence Jacobs and Robert C. Shapiro, “Conclusion: Presidential Power, Institutions and Democracy” in Robert C. Shapiro, Martha Joint Kumar and Lawrence R. Jacobs, eds. Presidential Power ch. 23 New York: Columbia University Press, 2000: 489-509
2. THE PRESIDENCY IN A HISTORICAL CONTEXT
Thursday September 12, 2002:
Milkis and Nelson, “Setting the Stage” in American Presidency Ch.1. p. 1-27.
* Charles C. Thach, Jr. “The Creation of Presidency”
Pika et al, “Inventing the Presidency” 3-17
Tuesday September 17, 2002: Designing the Presidency
* James Madison to Thomas Jefferson. in Pfiffner & Davidson
* Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers No. 68-77
Milkis and Nelson, “Creating the Presidency” ch. 2 p.27-69
Thursday September 19, 2002: Expansion of the Presidency
Pika et al. “Expansion of the Presidency” p.17-29
* Bert Rockman, “Entrepreneur in the Constitutional Market Place: the Development of Presidency.” in Peter Nardulli, ed., The Constitution and American Political Development: An Institutional Perspective Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992:97-120
* Fred Greenstein, “Change and Continuity in the Modern Presidency” in Anthony King, The New American Political System Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1979: 45-86
3. ON BECOMING A PRESIDENT Tuesday September 24, 2002:
Pika et al. “Election Politics” p.30-75
Thursday September 26, 2002:
Pika et al., “Public Politics” p.75-123
Tuesday October 1, 2002:
Pika et al., “Presidential Character and Performance” 123-168
YOUR MEMO TOPIC IS DUE TODAY. In 250 words you inform me on what you plan to do and where you will get the supporting materials.
4. THE INSTITUTION OF PRESIDENCY
Thursday October 3, 2002:
* Lyn Ragsdale, “Personal Power and Presidents” in Robert C. Shapiro, Martha Joint Kumar and Lawrence R. Jacobs, eds. Presidential Power ch. 4 New York: Columbia University Press, 2000: 31-47
* Stephen Skowronek, “Power and Authority” and “Structure and Action” in Stephen Skowronek, The Politics Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to Bill Clinton Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1997:17-58.
Tuesday, October 8, 2002:
* Thomas Preston, “The President’s Inner Circle” Personality and Leadership Style in Foreign Policy Decision-making.” in Robert C. Shapiro, Martha Joint Kumar and Lawrence R. Jacobs, eds. Presidential Power ch. 7. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000: 105-159
Thursday, October 10, 2002:
Milkis and Nelson, “The Vice-Presidency” p.401-417
* Bert Rockman, “Staffing and Organizing the Presidency” in Robert C. Shapiro, Martha Joint Kumar and Lawrence R. Jacobs, eds. Presidential Power ch. 7. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000: 159-178
Tuesday, October 15, 2002:
* Michael W. Link, “The Presidential Kaleidoscope: Advisory Networks in Action” in Robert C. Shapiro, Martha Joint Kumar and Lawrence R. Jacobs, eds. Presidential Power ch. 11. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000: 235-265
5.THE PRESIDENT AND THE GOVERNMENT
Thursday, October 17, 2002:
Pika et al., “Legislative Politics” 170-208
Tuesday, October 22, 2002:
Pika et al., “ Executive Politics” 208-249
Thursday, October 24, 2002:
6. THE PRESIDENT AND THE PUBLIC POLICY
Tuesday October 29, 2002:
Pika et al., “The Politics of Domestic Policy” p.284-319
Thursday October 31, 2002:
Pika et al., “The Politics of Economic Policy” p. 219-357
Tuesday, November 5, 2002:
Pika et al., “The Politics of National Security” p. 357-396
7. PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP: CASE STUDIES
Thursday, November 7, 2002: Washington and Jefferson
Milkis and Nelson, Ch. 3 “The Presidency of George Washington” p. 66-85; and Ch. 4 “The Rise of Party Politics and the Triumph of Jeffersonianism.” p. 85-116.
Tuesday, November 12, 2002: From Jackson to Lincoln
Milkis and Nelson, Ch. 5 “The Age of Jackson.” p. 116-143; and Ch. 6 “The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln” p. 143-162
Thursday, November 14, 2002: From Andrew Johnson to Taft
Milkis and Nelson, Ch. 7 “The Reaction against Presidential Power: Andrew Johnson to William McKinley.” p. 163-193; and Ch. 8 “Progressive Politics and Executive Power: The Presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft” 193-222
Tuesday, November 19, 2002: From Wilson to Eisenhower
Milkis and Nelson, Ch. 9 “Woodrow Wilson and the Defense of Popular Leadership.” p. 222-242; and Ch. 10 “The Triumph of Conservative Republicanism.” p. 242-262; and Ch. 11 ”The Consolidation of the Modern Presidency: Franklin D. Roosevelt to Dwight D. Eisenhower.” p. 262-299
Thursday, November 21, 2002: From Kennedy to Carter
Milkis and Nelson, Ch. 12 “Personalizing the Presidency: John F. Kennedy to Jimmy Carter.” p. 299-340
Tuesday, November 26, 2002: From Regan to Bush
Milkis and Nelson, Ch. 13 “A Restoration of Presidential Power? Ronald Reagan and George Bush” 340-371
Thursday, November 28, 2002
Tuesday, December 3, 2002: Bill Clinton
Milkis and Nelson, Ch. 14 “Bill Clinton and the Modern Presidency” p. 371-401
YOUR MEMO AND THE PORTFOLIO ARE DUE TODAY!
Thursday, December 5, 2002: George W. Bush
Pika et al. “George Bush: Transition to Power and First 180 Days” p. 396-416
(The other reading to be assigned)
Tuesday, December 10, 2002: Challenges for the Future
Last Day of Class. Readings to be assigned.
Tuesday December 17, 2002: FINAL TAKE-HOME EXAM is due TODAY!