The Preeminence of Politics: Executive Orders from Eisenhower to Clinton

The Preeminence of Politics: Executive Orders from Eisenhower to Clinton
Ricardo Jose Pereira Rodrigues
October 2007

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-212-0 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / xii, 318 pages

Price   $75.00

" in detail and highly nuanced... Recommended. Graudate and research collections." -- Choice


Executive orders have become, since World War II, major presidential policy-making tools. They carry the force of law, require no congressional approval, and potentially bypass the legislative process. Previous research suggests that executive orders reduce the presidents' necessity to persuade other political actors and, thus, undermine the checks and balances of the American political system.

However, presidents do not enjoy complete freedom when pursuing policies by decree. Forces within the political system constrain the presidents' unilateral action. In most cases, executive orders follow congressional intent. Executive orders that run against the interests of the majority in Congress only prevail when a set of favorable conditions exist in a president's political environment. These conditions include divisiveness in Congress, public support for the contemplated action, and support from core elements of a president's coalition.

About the Author

Ricardo Jose Pereira Rodrigues is Director of the Office of Legislative Counsel at the Chamber of Deputies, the National Legislature in Brazil. He manages an office with over 200 legal experts and policy analysts providing members of Parliament with policy guidance. Prior to joining the National Legislature in Brazil, Mr.. Rodrigues was a public affairs specialist with the United States Information Agency. He has taught political science at SUNY Albany and at the Catholic University of Pernambuco, Brazil.