The Polarized Presidency of George W. Bush

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George C Edwards III, Desmond King
OUP Oxford, May 24, 2007 - History - 463 pages
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This collection examines the foreign and domestic policies of President George W Bush's administration. The analysis begins with an account of how highly polarized - in terms of public opinion and electoral patterns - this presidency has proved to be (in a chapter by the editors). This is followed by chapters on the use of unilateral executive powers (by Louis Fisher and William Howell) and pre-rogative powers (by Richard Pious). Because the policy choices of the Bush presidency have had such fundamental effects both in domestic policy and in US foreign policy, three contributors (Thomas Langston, John Burke, James Pfiffner) then address the processes of decision making especially in respect to the war against Iraq. How the administration governs by a recurring process of campaigning is examined in chapters on public opinion and war (by Gary Jacobson), the promotional presidency (by Larry Jacobs), mobilizing congressional support for war (by Scott Blinder) and the White House communications system (by Martha Kumar). Finally the way in which the Bush White House relates to congress and the process of building congressional coalitions to enact laws is the subject of chapters on 'executive style' of this administration (by Charles O Jones) and the failure to reform social security (by Fiona Ross). It will be essential reading for anyone wishing to understand one of the most controversial administrations in recent years.

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About the author (2007)


George C. Edwards III is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University. He also holds the Jordan Chair in Presidential Studies in the Bush School, and has served as the Olin Professor of American Government at Oxford, the John Adams Fellow at the University of London, and held senior visiting appointments at Peking University, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was the founder and from 1991-2001 the director of The Center for Presidential Studies. One of the country's leading scholars of the presidency, he has authored dozens of articles and has written or edited 21 books on American politics and public policy making. He is also editor of Presidential Studies Quarterly and consulting editor of The Oxford Handbook of American Politics series. Among his latest books are On Deaf Ears: The Limits of the Bully Pulpit, Why the Electoral College Is Bad for America , and Governing by Campaigning.
Desmond King is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of American Government and Fellow of Nuffield College, University of Oxford and a specialist in American political development and comparative welfare policy. He is Fellow of the British Academy. His numerous books include In the Name of Liberalism: Illiberal Social Policy in the USA and Britain (Oxford, 1999), Making Americans: Immigration, Race and the Origins of the Diverse Democracy (2000), and The Liberty of Strangers: Making the American Nation (Oxford, 2005).

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