In The New Imperial Presidency, Andrew Rudalevige suggests that the congressional framework meant to advise and constrain presidential conduct since Watergate has slowly eroded. Rudalevige describes the evolution of executive power in our separated system of governance. He discusses the abuse of power that prompted what he calls the "resurgence regime" against the imperial presidency and inquires as to how and why—over the three decades that followed Watergate—presidents have regained their standing.
Chief executives have always sought to interpret constitutional powers broadly. The ambitious president can choose from an array of strategies for pushing against congressional authority; finding scant resistance, he will attempt to expand executive control. Rudalevige's important and timely work reminds us that the freedoms secured by our system of checks and balances do not proceed automatically but depend on the exertions of public servants and the citizens they serve. His story confirms the importance of the "living Constitution," a tradition of historical experiences overlaying the text of the Constitution itself.
"This book should help awaken both the electorate and its leaders to the urgency of a subject long at the heart of constitutional government. Gracefully written, sparkling with vivid quotations and insightful analysis, The New Imperial Presidency will reward both specialists and students. Yet most crucially, it is a book for citizens who seek to understand and control the politics that, in spite of all, they continue to authorize."
—Russell Muirhead, Political Science Quarterly
Named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title
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