Political Science

The American Presidency: An Institutional Approach to Executive Politics

How institutions shape the American presidency


Published (US):
Feb 21, 2023
Published (UK):
Mar 14, 2023
7 x 10 in.
81 b/w illus. 7 tables.
Political Science
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This incisive undergraduate textbook emphasizes the institutional sources of presidential power and executive governance, enabling students to think more clearly and systematically about the American presidency at a time when media coverage of the White House is awash in anecdotes and personalities. William Howell offers unparalleled perspective on the world’s most powerful office, from its original design in the Constitution to its historical growth over time; its elections and transitions to governance; its interactions with Congress, the courts, and the federal bureaucracy; and its persistent efforts to shape public policy. Comprehensive in scope and rooted in the latest scholarship, The American Presidency is the perfect guide for studying the presidency at a time of acute partisan polarization and popular anxiety about the health and well-being of the republic.

  • Focuses on the institutional structures that presidents must navigate, the incentives and opportunities that drive them, and the constraints they routinely confront
  • Shows how legislators, judges, bureaucrats, the media, and the broader public shape the contours and limits of presidential power
  • Encourages students to view the institutional presidency as not just an object of study but a way of thinking about executive politics
  • Highlights the lasting effects of important historical moments on the institutional presidency
  • Enables students to grapple with enduring themes of power, rules, norms, and organization that undergird democracy