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Debating the Presidency
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Debating the Presidency
Conflicting Perspectives on the American Executive

Fifth Edition
Edited by:


December 2019 | 312 pages | CQ Press
The study of the presidency—the power of the office, the evolution of the executive as an institution, the men who have served—has generated a great body of research and scholarship. What better way to get students to grapple with the ideas of the literature than through conflicting perspectives on some of the most pivotal issues facing the modern presidency? Richard Ellis and Michael Nelson have once again assembled a cadre of top scholars to offer a series of pro/con essays that will inspire spirited debate beyond the pages of the book. Each essay—written in the form of a debate resolution— offers a compelling yet concise view on the American executive.

 
Preface
 
Contributors
 
1. Resolved, the framers of the Constitution would approve of the modern Presidency
Pro:

David Nichols
Con:

Terri Bimes
 
2. Resolved, the unitary executive is a myth
Pro:

Richard J. Ellis
Con:

Saikrishna Prakash
 
3. Resolved, political parties should nominate candidates for the presidency through a national primary
Pro:

Michael Nelson
Con:

Andrew E. Busch
 
4. Resolved, the president should be elected directly by the people
Pro:

Burdett Loomis
Con:

Byron E. Shafer and Monica Busch
 
5. Resolved, the 22nd Amendment should be repealed
Pro:

David Karol
Con:

Thomas E. Cronin
 
6. Resolved, the new media has brought the president closer to the people
Pro:

Matthew R. Kerbel
Con:

Bruce Miroff
 
7. Resolved, presidential success and failure are better explained by political time and the strength of governing coalitions than a president's character and leadership qualities
Pro:

Stephen Skowronek
Con:

Paul Quirk
 
8. Resolved, presidential power is (still) the power to persuade
Pro:

Matt Dickinson
Con:

George C. Edwards III
 
9. Resolved Congress should be required to vote up or down on legislation proposed by the president
Pro:

William G. Howell and Terry Moe
Con:

B. Dan Wood
 
10. Resolved, presidents have usurped the war power that rightfully belongs to Congress
Pro:

Nancy Kassop
Con:

Robert Bauer
 
11. Resolved, Congress should have the power to override a presidential pardon by a two-thirds majority vote of both houses
Pro:

Sharece Thrower
Con:

Jeffrey Crouch
 
12. Resolved, executive orders and other unilateral presidential directives undermine democracy
Pro:

Gene Healy
Con:

Andrew Rudalevige
 
13. Resolved, the president has too much power in the selection of judges
Pro:

David A. Yalof
Con:

John Anthony Maltese
 
14. Resolved, the vice presidency should be abolished
Pro:

Douglas L. Kriner
Con:

Joel K. Goldstein
David Nichols, Terri Bimes
Chapter 1: Resolved, the framers of the Constitution would approve of the modern presidency.
Richard Ellis, Sai Prakash
Chapter 2: Resolved, the unitary executive is a myth
Michael Nelson, Andrew Busch
Chapter 3: Resolved, political parties should nominate candidates for the presidency through a national primary.
Burdett Loomis, Byron Shafer, Monica Busch
Chapter 4: Resolved, the president should be elected directly by the people.
David Karol, Thomas Cronin
Chapter 5: Resolved, the 22nd Amendment should be repealed.
Matthew Kerbel, Bruce Miroff
Chapter 6: Resolved, the new media has brought the president closer to the people.
Stephen Skowronek, Paul Quirk
Chapter 7: Resolved, presidential success and failure are better explained by political time and the strength of governing coalitions than a president’s character and leadership qualities
Matt Dickinson, George Edwards
Chapter 8: Resolved, presidential power is (still) the power to persuade.
Willliam Howell, Terry Moe, B. Wood
Chapter 9: Resolved Congress should have to vote up or down on legislation proposed by the president
Nancy Kassop, Robert Bauer
Chapter 10: Resolved, presidents have usurped the war power that rightfully belongs to Congress.
Sharece Thrower, Jeffrey Crouch
Chapter 11: Resolved, Congress should have the power to override a presidential pardon by a two thirds majority vote of both houses
Gene Healy, Andrew Rudalevige
Chapter 12: Resolved, executive orders and other unilateral presidential directives undermine democracy.
David Yalof, John Maltese
Chapter 13: Resolved, the president has too much power in the selection of judges.
Douglas Kriner, Joel Goldstein
Chapter 14: Resolved, the vice presidency should be abolished.
Key features
NEW AND KEY FEATURES:
  • Based on reviewers’ suggestions the authors have added a new debate topic on whether Congress should have the power to override a presidential pardon by a two-thirds majority vote of both houses (Pro: Sharece Thrower, Con: Jeffrey Crouch).
  • For the new edition the authors have brought on six new authors: Bob Bauer, Monica Busch, Jeffrey Crouch, Bruce Miroff, Paul Quirk, and Sharece Thrower.
  • Essays that have been retained from the previous edition have been revised to reflect recent events and scholarship.
  • Contributions are written specifically for the volume: essays are both well-suited to undergraduates and are in dialogue with one another.

For instructors

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