Google full text of our books:


While Dangers Gather:
Congressional Checks on Presidential War Powers
William G. Howell & Jon C. Pevehouse

Co-Winner of the 2008 Richard E. Neustadt Award, Presidency Research Section of the American Political Science Association
Winner of the 2007 D. B. Hardeman Prize, Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation

Paperback | 2007 | $49.95 | £41.95 | ISBN: 9780691134628
384 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 1 halftone. 8 line illus. 30 tables.
Add to Shopping Cart

eBook | ISBN: 9781400840830 |
Our eBook editions are available from these online vendors

Reviews | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF] pdf-icon

Google full text of this book:

Nearly five hundred times in the past century, American presidents have deployed the nation's military abroad, on missions ranging from embassy evacuations to full-scale wars. The question of whether Congress has effectively limited the president's power to do so has generally met with a resounding "no." In While Dangers Gather, William Howell and Jon Pevehouse reach a very different conclusion.

The authors--one an American politics scholar, the other an international relations scholar--provide the most comprehensive and compelling evidence to date on Congress's influence on presidential war powers. Their findings have profound implications for contemporary debates about war, presidential power, and Congress's constitutional obligations.

While devoting special attention to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, this book systematically analyzes the last half-century of U.S. military policy. Among its conclusions: Presidents are systematically less likely to exercise military force when their partisan opponents retain control of Congress. The partisan composition of Congress, however, matters most for proposed deployments that are larger in size and directed at less strategically important locales. Moreover, congressional influence is often achieved not through bold legislative action but through public posturing--engaging the media, raising public concerns, and stirring domestic and international doubt about the United States' resolve to see a fight through to the end.


"[The authors] argue that when it comes to 'wars of choice,' Congress's partisan composition influences whether the U.S. sends troops abroad, how likely the nation is to respond to a foreign crisis with force, and how long the decision to respond takes....To understand how Congress wields its influence during the lead-up to war, Howell surveyed the range of congressional actions--hearings, investigations, nonbinding resolutions, public criticisms. In the final section of the book, he connect[s] those activities to foreign-affairs media coverage."--Laura Stuart, Chicago Magazine

"Howell and Pevehouse's research is an excellent addition to a stream of literature that has left woefully unconsidered the effects of domestic politics in general and the institution of Congress in particular on the international relations process. . . . Their book shows that Congress can, and apparently does, have substantial effects on how the president crafts foreign policy. Future scholars would be well advised to continue to walk down the path paved by this well crafted addition to the American foreign policy literature."--Walt Jatkowski, APSA Booknotes

"Taken in its entirety, the outstanding scholarship presented in While Dangers Gather offers critical insight into the domestic politics of war and provides an interesting case in favor of divided government as an apparent check on presidents' proclivity to engage in war."--Jeffrey S. Peake, Presidential Studies Quarterly

"The book is refreshingly straightforward in presentation."--Michael D. Ramsey, Review of Politics


"This is the state-of-the-art book on the domestic and international politics of the use of military force abroad by U.S. presidents. It should be widely read for the depth and breadth of its scholarship, and for the importance of its topic."--Bruce Russett, Yale University

More Endorsements

Table of Contents

Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by William G. Howell:

Subject Area:

Shopping Cart options:

  • For ebooks:

Our eBook editions are available
from these online vendors:

  • Amazon Kindle Store
  • Apple iBooks
  • Barnes & Noble Nook Store
  • Google Play eBook Store
  • Kobo eBook Store
  • Many of our ebooks are available through
    library electronic resources including these platforms:

  • Books at JSTOR
  • Ebrary
  • Ebook Library
  • EBSCO Ebooks
  • MyiLibrary
  • Dawsonera (UK)

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

     Paperback : $49.95 ISBN: 9780691134628

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

     Paperback  £41.95 ISBN: 9780691134628

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    Prices subject to change without notice

    File created: 7/11/2017

    Questions and comments to:
    Princeton University Press

    New Book E-mails
    New In Print
    PUP Blog
    Princeton APPS
    Sample Chapters
    Princeton Legacy Library
    Exam/Desk Copy
    Recent Awards
    Princeton Shorts
    Freshman Reading
    PUP Europe
    About Us
    Contact Us
    PUP Home

    Bookmark and Share 
    Send me emails
    about new books in:
    Political Science And International Relations
    More Choices