Political Science Weekly HW

Discussion 1: The Modern Presidency

Please note: This discussion will be graded and you need to post twice: one original post and one post responding to someone else. Please cite pages and consider using direct quotes from the reading to support your points. Be considerate in your responses to your peers (and follow the norms of ‘netiquette’ listed in the introduction module). Please post both of your posts by the end of the day on July 27.

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Chapter 1 from Grover (from his book, The President as Prisoner) describes the rise of the modern presidency as a fundamental shift in the nature of the office (see also Pika et al., Chapter 1 from Politics of the Presidency).

So, what is the modern presidency? Please write a post exploring the rise and nature of the modern presidency compared to the earlier presidency. Your answer should consider some specific insights from the readings. Please discuss at least one of the following:

A. What led to the emergence of the modern presidency and how does it differ from the earlier ‘traditional’ presidency?

B. What does Laski see as the obstacles to a powerful ‘modern’ presidency before the 1930s? Do some of these still apply even if the presidency has become more powerful?

C. What is Rossiter’s approach to understanding the modern presidency? Why is he confident this modern office will not become dangerously powerful?

D. How does Neustadt understand presidential power, even in the modern presidency? What does it take for a president to be successful in handling the modern office? How does Neustadt’s view potentially challenge or go beyond Rossiter?

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