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Presidency Readin Summary and Analysis - Book Report/Review Example

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Presidency Readin Summary and Analysis

Mr. Wildavsky in his articles proposed the theory that there were two presidencies in the United States, based on the functions of domestic affairs and foreign affairs. This became a controversial issue that has been debated since the original writing. The Two Presidencies occur because we as Americans see the responsibilities of domestic affairs much differently than that of foreign affairs and because of that we expect that the President will function differently in each capacity.
He gives many examples throughout his paper. He mentions, for example, in 1938 that Franklin Roosevelt did not manage to pass a single domestic policy and neither did several other presidents (Wildavsky, 1966). Yet, the same group of presidents were able to get many foreign policies passed. Some of the more famous of those, according to Wildavsky, (1996) were the United Nations, the Marshall Plan, and NATO. They also have seldom lost when sending resources from the United States to other countries. This happens because we believe that the President knows more about foreign affairs than we do. We however, believe that we know a lot about domestic affairs so it is more difficult for him to get things passed. In some ways, it is the same for defense. After all, the President is the Commander in Chief. Right So he must know more than we do.
This article reviews all of the reasons that Wildavsky (1966) believes there are two presidencies but he is also realistic enough to mention that even when this article was written, there was a great deal of controversy. Many people believed that the President was allowed to make foreign policy decisions, not for the reasons mentioned but because he eliminated the controversial decisions, only to leave those that we believed he had correct.
The study that was originally done by Wildavsky, (1966) in a qualitative style with very little quantitative data attached (Michael, 2007). The research fits the qualitative style because it talks about recurring cycles that reveal something similar. Most qualitative review is done in a library or other research facility as data is not necessary. There was very little actual research to review at the time Of course, we all know that many qualitative studies actually lead to further study and certainly in this particular case, it has.
Bryan Marshall and Ricard Pacelle in Revisiting the Two Presidents, (2005), question the works of Wildavsky (1966). They believe that how presidents issue executive orders has a lot to do with how we see the Presidency. They feel that Widavsky did not test the hypothesis that there were two Presidencies enough. They believe as the previous author did that executive orders are, in fact, used differently in foreign and domestic policy. They determine when their study is complete, that their model testing on executive orders supports the original study.
This article does bring up some unusual and somewhat disconcerting thoughts. They determine that often the President makes executive orders to get around Congress when they have a low approval rating and supports Congress when they have a high approval rating. This provides us with a little different picture of what may actually be going on during any legislative session. Throughout this study, there are many examples of the President or Congress using ...Show more


The articles that have been reviewed for this assignment concentrate on asking two questions. Are there two presidencies and are there great differences in the foreign and domestic power that the President of the United States has Though the questions are essentially the same, the articles all approached the question differently and with different research methods…
Author : kozeymaggie
Presidency Readin Summary and Analysis
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