Power Without Constraint

Author: Chris Edelson
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Pres
ISBN: 0299307409
Size: 45.12 MB
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Despite rhetorical differences, the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama have both claimed broadly unrestrained presidential power in matters of military force, surveillance, and the state secrets privilege.

Presidential Leadership And National Security

Author: Richard S. Conley
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351979833
Size: 56.42 MB
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This book assesses the foreign policy legacy of the Obama administration through the lens of national security and leadership. Timely, accessible chapters authored by leading scholars of presidential and international politics cover White House-Cabinet relations; Congress and War Powers; challenges including the Iran nuclear deal, ISIS, and the closing of Guantanamo Bay; drone strikes; the New Cold War with Russia; and the ways in which the Obama foreign policy legacy shaped the 2016 presidential election. In particular, the book explores the philosophical basis of counter-terrorism strategy in the Obama administration and traces how precepts differed from the administration of George W. Bush. More generally, the book contributes to an understanding of the distinctive interplay between the formal, constitutional powers of the president and the use of informal, executive powers in the quest for peace and security. Finally, the book surveys the challenges that Donald J. Trump faces in the transition to the new presidential administration.

How Democracies Die

Author: Steven Levitsky
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0241317991
Size: 28.54 MB
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Two Harvard professors explain the dangerous world we face today Democracies can die with a coup d'état - or they can die slowly. This happens most deceptively when in piecemeal fashion, with the election of an authoritarian leader, the abuse of governmental power and the complete repression of opposition. All three steps are being taken around the world - not least with the election of Donald Trump - and we must all understand how we can stop them. In How Democracies Die, Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt draw insightful lessons from across history - from the rule of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile to the quiet undermining of Turkey's constitutional system by President Recip Erdogan - to shine a light on regime breakdown across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Notably they point to the dangers of an authoritarian leader faced with a major crisis. Based on years of research, they present a deep understanding of how and why democracies die; an alarming analysis of how democracy is being subverted today in the US and beyond; and a guide for maintaining and repairing a threatened democracy, for governments, political parties and individuals. History doesn't repeat itself. But we can protect our democracy by learning its lessons, before it's too late.

Law S Wars

Author: Richard L. Abel
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108429815
Size: 68.65 MB
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The US 'war on terror', which Bush declared and Obama continued, repeatedly violated fundamental rule of law values. Law's Wars: The Fate of the Rule of Law in the US 'War on Terror' is the first comprehensive account of efforts to resist and correct those violations. It focuses on responses to abuses in Abu Ghraib, efforts by Guantnamo Bay detainees to improve conditions of confinement in and win release, exposs of and efforts to end torture and electronic surveillance, and civilian casualties on the battlefield, including targeted killings. Abel deploys a law and society perspective to construct and analyze detailed narratives of the roles of victims, whistle-blowers, the media, NGOs, lawyers, doctors, politicians, military personnel, foreign governments and international organizations in defending the rule of law. Only by understanding past errors can we hope to prevent their repetition in what promises to be an endless 'war on terror'.

Counter Terrorism From The Obama Administration To President Trump

Author: Donna G. Starr-Deelen
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319697579
Size: 49.58 MB
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Following up on Donna Starr-Deelen's previous book Presidential Policies on Terrorism: From Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama (Palgrave, 2014), this book compares and contrasts the approach of the Obama administration with the Trump administration regarding national security and counter-terrorism. It provides an overview of counter-terrorism in the Obama era and then moves to the rise of ISIS and the Syrian civil war, ending with an analysis of the new Trump administration's national security policies.

Power And Constraint The Accountable Presidency After 9 11

Author: Jack Goldsmith
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393083519
Size: 78.73 MB
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The surprising truth behind Barack Obama's decision to continue many of his predecessor's counterterrorism policies. Conventional wisdom holds that 9/11 sounded the death knell for presidential accountability. In fact, the opposite is true. The novel powers that our post-9/11 commanders in chief assumed—endless detentions, military commissions, state secrets, broad surveillance, and more—are the culmination of a two-century expansion of presidential authority. But these new powers have been met with thousands of barely visible legal and political constraints—enforced by congressional committees, government lawyers, courts, and the media—that have transformed our unprecedentedly powerful presidency into one that is also unprecedentedly accountable. These constraints are the key to understanding why Obama continued the Bush counterterrorism program, and in this light, the events of the last decade should be seen as a victory, not a failure, of American constitutional government. We have actually preserved the framers’ original idea of a balanced constitution, despite the vast increase in presidential power made necessary by this age of permanent emergency.

Power Play

Author: James P. Pfiffner
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815701521
Size: 22.11 MB
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The framers of the U.S. Constitution divided the federal government's powers among three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary. Their goal was to prevent tyranny by ensuring that none of the branches could govern alone. While numerous presidents have sought to escape these constitutional constraints, the administration of George W. Bush went farther than most. It denied the writ of habeas corpus to individuals deemed to be enemy combatants. It suspended the Geneva Convention and allowed or encouraged the use of harsh interrogation methods amounting to torture. It ordered the surveillance of Americans without obtaining warrants as required by law. And it issued signing statements declaring that the president does not have the duty to faithfully execute hundreds of provisions in the laws he has signed. Power Play analyzes the Bush presidency's efforts to expand executive power in these four domains and puts them into constitutional and historical perspective. Pfiffner explores the evolution of Anglo-American thinking about executive power and individual rights. He highlights the lessons the Constitution's framers drew from such philosophers as Locke and Montesquieu, as well as English constitutional history. He documents the ways in which the Bush administration's policies have undermined the separation of powers, and he shows how these practices have imperiled the rule of law. Following 9/11, the Bush presidency engaged in a two-front offensive. In Afghanistan and Iraq, the administration aggressively prosecuted the "war on terror." At home, it targeted constraints on the power of the executive. Power Play lays bare the extent of this second campaign and explains why it will continue to threaten the future of republican government if the other two branches do not assert their own constitutional prerogatives.

Power Without Persuasion

Author: William G. Howell
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400874394
Size: 31.42 MB
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Since the early 1960s, scholarly thinking on the power of U.S. presidents has rested on these words: "Presidential power is the power to persuade." Power, in this formulation, is strictly about bargaining and convincing other political actors to do things the president cannot accomplish alone. Power without Persuasion argues otherwise. Focusing on presidents' ability to act unilaterally, William Howell provides the most theoretically substantial and far-reaching reevaluation of presidential power in many years. He argues that presidents regularly set public policies over vocal objections by Congress, interest groups, and the bureaucracy. Throughout U.S. history, going back to the Louisiana Purchase and the Emancipation Proclamation, presidents have set landmark policies on their own. More recently, Roosevelt interned Japanese Americans during World War II, Kennedy established the Peace Corps, Johnson got affirmative action underway, Reagan greatly expanded the president's powers of regulatory review, and Clinton extended protections to millions of acres of public lands. Since September 11, Bush has created a new cabinet post and constructed a parallel judicial system to try suspected terrorists. Howell not only presents numerous new empirical findings but goes well beyond the theoretical scope of previous studies. Drawing richly on game theory and the new institutionalism, he examines the political conditions under which presidents can change policy without congressional or judicial consent. Clearly written, Power without Persuasion asserts a compelling new formulation of presidential power, one whose implications will resound.

Elusive Victories

Author: Andrew J. Polsky
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199942811
Size: 20.67 MB
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On April 4, 1864, Abraham Lincoln made a shocking admission about his presidency during the Civil War. "I claim not to have controlled events," he wrote in a letter, "but confess plainly that events have controlled me." Lincoln's words carry an invaluable lesson for wartime presidents, writes Andrew J. Polsky in this seminal book. As Polsky shows, when commanders-in-chief do try to control wartime events, more often than not they fail utterly. In Elusive Victories, Polsky provides a fascinating study of six wartime presidents, drawing larger lessons about the limits of the power of the White House during armed conflict. He examines, in turn, Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, showing how each gravely overestimated his power as commander-in-chief. In each case, these presidents' resources did not match the key challenges that recur from war to war. Both Lincoln and Johnson intervened in military operations, giving orders to specific units; yet both struggled with the rising unpopularity of their conflicts. Both Wilson and Bush entered hostilities with idealistic agendas for the aftermath, yet found themselves helpless to enact them. With insight and clarity, Polsky identifies overarching issues that will inform current and future policymakers. The single most important dynamic, he writes, is the erosion of a president's freedom of action. Each decision propels him down a path from which he cannot turn back. When George W. Bush rejected the idea of invading Iraq with 400,000 troops, he could not send such a force two years later as the insurgency spread. In the final chapter, Polsky examines Barack Obama's options in light of these conclusions, and considers how the experiences of the past might inform the world we face now. Elusive Victories is the first book to provide a comprehensive account of presidential leadership during wartime, highlighting the key dangers that presidents have ignored at their peril.