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Rethinking the Administrative Presidency

Trust, Intellectual Capital, and Appointee-Careerist Relations in the George W. Bush Administration

William G. Resh

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The first book to explore the tension between presidents and federal agencies from the perspective of careerists in the executive branch.

Winner of the Herbert A. Simon Book Award of the American Political Science Association

Why do presidents face so many seemingly avoidable bureaucratic conflicts? And why do these clashes usually intensify toward the end of presidential administrations, when a commander-in-chief’s administrative goals tend to be more explicit and better aligned with their appointed leadership’s prerogatives? In Rethinking the Administrative Presidency, William G. Resh...

The first book to explore the tension between presidents and federal agencies from the perspective of careerists in the executive branch.

Winner of the Herbert A. Simon Book Award of the American Political Science Association

Why do presidents face so many seemingly avoidable bureaucratic conflicts? And why do these clashes usually intensify toward the end of presidential administrations, when a commander-in-chief’s administrative goals tend to be more explicit and better aligned with their appointed leadership’s prerogatives? In Rethinking the Administrative Presidency, William G. Resh considers these complicated questions from an empirical perspective.

Relying on data drawn from surveys and interviews, Resh rigorously analyzes the argument that presidents typically start from a premise of distrust when they attempt to control federal agencies. Focusing specifically on the George W. Bush administration, Resh explains how a lack of trust can lead to harmful agency failure. He explores the extent to which the Bush administration was able to increase the reliability—and reduce the cost—of information to achieve its policy goals through administrative means during its second term.

Arguing that President Bush's use of the administrative presidency hindered trust between appointees and career executives to deter knowledge sharing throughout respective agencies, Resh also demonstrates that functional relationships between careerists and appointees help to advance robust policy. He employs a "joists vs. jigsaws" metaphor to stress his main point: that mutual support based on optimistic trust is a more effective managerial strategy than fragmentation founded on unsubstantiated distrust.

Reviews

Reviews

An original and valuable book that extends the literature on the administrative presidency. A must-read.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
208
ISBN
9781421418490
Illustration Description
17 line drawings
Table of Contents

Series Editors' Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. The "Black Box" of the Administrative Presidency
2. Trust, Intellectual Capital, and the Administrative Presidency
3. Connecting Trust to

Series Editors' Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. The "Black Box" of the Administrative Presidency
2. Trust, Intellectual Capital, and the Administrative Presidency
3. Connecting Trust to Intellectual Capital through the MultileveledEnvironment of the Executive Branch
4. Appointee-Careerist Relations and Trickle-Down Trust
5. Encapsulated Interest and Explicit Knowledge Exchange
6. Rethinking the Administrative Presidency
Notes
References
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

William G. Resh, Ph.D.

William G. Resh is an assistant professor at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy.