You are here

The Politics of the Presidency

The Politics of the Presidency

Revised Ninth Edition

July 2017 | 616 pages | CQ Press

Trace the opening rounds of the Trump administration: highlighting the 2016 election, transition, inauguration, and first one hundred days.  


Never losing sight of the foundations of the office, The Politics of the Presidency maintains a balance between historical context, the current political environment, and contemporary scholarship on the executive branch, providing a solid foundation for any presidency course. In addition to offering readers a comprehensive framework for understanding the expectations, powers, and limitations of the executive branch, the Revised Ninth Edition uses the most up-to-date coverage and analysis of the 2016 election and Trump administration to demonstrate key concepts.


New to the Revised Ninth Edition

  • A new chapter dedicated to the Trump transition and first one hundred days examines important topics such as the immigration ban and other executive orders; efforts at deregulation; the targeted military strikes in Syria; and the war on the intelligence community and the deconstruction of the administrative state.
  • Recent congressional relations analyzed, including the confirmation of Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch after Senate Republicans employed the “nuclear option” and took away the opportunity to filibuster Supreme Court nominees; efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare; fiscal 2017 and 2018 budget negotiations; and congressional investigations of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, his firing of FBI director James Comey, and the appointment of a special counsel in the matter.
  • An assessment of the public presidency reviews Trump’s approval ratings, communications strategies, and media coverage.
  • Discussions of Trump’s leadership challenges in a polarized age explain the difficulties of unifying a nation after a bitter election, launching an administration, and structuring the executive branch.
Part I: The President and the Public
Chapter 1: The Changing Presidency
The Scope of Presidential Power

Expansion of the Presidency

Presidential Culture

Conclusion: The Changeable, Political Presidency

Chapter 2: Election Politics
Evolution of the Selection Process

Defining the Pool of Eligibles

Competing for the Nomination

The National Convention

The General Election


Conclusion: Transitions to Governing

Chapter 3: Public Politics
Public Attitudes toward the Presidency

Rallying Public Support

The President and the Media

Conclusion: The Permanent Campaign

Chapter 4: Presidential Character and Performance
Determinants and Evaluations of Performance

What Manner of Person?

Psychological Characteristics of U.S. Presidents

Management Styles of Modern Presidents

Understanding Presidents: Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump

Conclusion: Seeking Presidential Success

Part II: The President and the Government
Chapter 5: Legislative Politics
Three Confrontations in Interbranch Relations

Development of the President’s Legislative Role

The Presidential-Congressional Relationship

The President’s Formal Legislative Powers

The President’s Informal Legislative Influence

Explaining Presidents’ Legislative Success

Conclusion: Legislating Together

Chapter 6: Executive Politics
The President as Executive

The President and the Executive Branch

The President and the Cabinet

The Vice President

The First Lady

Presidential Control of the Bureaucracy

Presidential Management of the Bureaucracy

Conclusion: The Frustrating Search for Control

Chapter 7: Judicial Politics
Presidential Appointment of Federal Judges

Other Presidential Influences on the Federal Courts

Judicial Oversight of Presidential Action

Conclusion: A Balancing Act

Part III: The President and Public Policy
Chapter 8: The Politics of Domestic Policy
The Domestic Policy Process

The Domestic Policy Environment

The Domestic Policy Apparatus

Conclusion: Providing Policy Leadership

Chapter 9: The Politics of Economic Policy
Macroeconomic Policy

Microeconomic Policy

Presidents and the Economy: 1933–2017

The Politics of Macroeconomic Policymaking

The Economic Subpresidency

Presidents and Economic Policy Coordination

Congress’s Role in Macroeconomic Policy

Conclusion: Avoiding Economic Disorder

Chapter 10: The Politics of National Security Policy
Issues in National Security Policy: Search for a New Consensus

The Problem with National Security Policymaking

The President, Congress, and National Security

Organizing and Managing National Security

Conclusion: Limiting the Exercise of Power

Chapter 11: The Trump Transition and First One Hundred Days
The Transition

The Inauguration

The First 100 Days

President Trump: A Natural Experiment


The Politics of the Presidency is well designed, well written, easy for students to comprehend, and all-around useful in laying out the key facets and concepts of the American presidency. It is deep in its material without being dense and is approachable without sacrificing rigor. I have not seen a text on the American presidency that does a better job of laying clear the history, powers, and limitations of the modern chief executive.”

Michael Julius
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

“The authors’ approach puts politics front and center in the study of the presidency. The Politics of the Presidency is clearly the work of senior scholars who have devoted many years to the study of the presidency and scholarship on the office. They know a lot about the office and convey what they know to students in a well-organized and well-written manner.”

Andrew Battista
East Tennessee State University

I use The Politics of the Presidency in my undergraduate presidency courses because the essential topics are thoroughly covered in a style that is both readable and interesting. The cases and examples are always well chosen and up-to-date, and the special circumstances and challenges facing the current president can be easily compared to enduring presidential responsibilities such as domestic politics, economic policy, and national security.”

Bruce Buchanan
University of Texas at Austin

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: The Changing Presidency

Joseph A. Pika

Joseph A. Pika is the James R. Soles professor emeritus of political science and internationalrelations at the University of Delaware. He holds a PhD from the Universityof Wisconsin and taught previously at SUNY at Buffalo. He is coauthor with Jason D.Mycoff of Conflict & Compromise: Presidential and Congressional Leadership, 2001–2006 and coauthor with John Anthony Maltese and H. Phillips Shively of AmericanDemocracy in Context. He served for seven years on the Delaware State Board ofEducation, four years as president. More About Author

John Anthony Maltese

John Anthony Maltese is the Albert B. Saye professor of political science and associatedean of the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs and wasnamed a University professor in 2023 in recognition of significant impact on the universitybeyond normal academic responsibilities. He holds a PhD from Johns HopkinsUniversity. He is the author of The Selling of Supreme Court Nominees and Spin Control:The White House Office of Communications and the Management of Presidential News,and coauthor with Joseph A. Pika and H. Phillips Shively of American Democracy inContext. He is a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching... More About Author

Andrew C. Rudalevige

Andrew Rudalevige is the Thomas Brackett Reed professor of government at BowdoinCollege and former chair of the American Political Science Association’s Presidentsand Executive Politics section; in 2023-2024 he is a visiting professor at the LondonSchool of Economics. He holds a PhD from Harvard University and won the RichardE. Neustadt Prize from the American Political Science Association for best book on theU.S. presidency in 2003 and 2022, as well as the 2022 Louis Brownlow Prize from theNational Academy of Public Administration. His books include By Executive Order,Managing the President’s Program, The New Imperial Presidency: Renewing... More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781506367798