December 15, 2009

Power without Persuasion

For a long time, Presidential scholars have asserted that the power of the president rested on the ability to persuade. Without this ability to convince other political actors, specifically Congress, they believed little could be accomplished. Howell argues quite the opposite. He sites numerous occasions from the Louisiana Purchase through present day when presidents have made unilateral policy decisions without support for their position, and often even over the vocal objections of Congress, agencies, or other political interest groups. Beyond his historical study, however, Howell examines the political conditions in which presidents are able to change policies without congressional or judicial support or consent. This is an important shift in interpretation that will certainly change how the office of the president is seen.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Power Without Persuasion: The Politics of Direct Presidential Action
William G. Howell
KF 5053 .H68 2003