American Presidency

  1. Richard Neustadt published the first version of Presidential Power in 1960. Obviously, a lot has changed in the half century since then. Is Neustadt’s theory of presidential bargaining still relevant? If so, what additions or changes might we make to make it apply better to the contemporary presidency? If not, why does it no longer fit?
  2. Richard Neustadt and Fred Greenstein both argue that a President has a great deal of control over how successful he is in office. Stephen Skowronek, on the other hand, implies that Presidents are at least limited, if not outright controlled, by circumstances. To what extent do Presidents actually control their own legacies? Does Skowronek leave room for presidential agency, allowing Presidents to transcend their historical situation (or fall short of its potential)?