Presidential leadership from Presidents Washington to Bush and beyond: assessing presidents within the cycled circumstances of institutional expectations

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2008-01-01
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Untiet, Christopher
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Dirk Deam
Charles Dobbs
Kimberly H. Conger
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Political Science
The Department of Political Science has been a separate department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (formerly the College of Sciences and Humanities) since 1969 and offers an undergraduate degree (B.A.) in political science, a graduate degree (M.A.) in political science, a joint J.D./M.A. degree with Drake University, an interdisciplinary degree in cyber security, and a graduate Certificate of Public Management (CPM). In addition, it provides an array of service courses for students in other majors and other colleges to satisfy general education requirements in the area of the social sciences.
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A revealing way of assessing Presidential leadership comes through interpreting a President's time in office within the six-step cycled circumstances of institutional expectations. Using historical biographies and reinterpreting the patterns of Presidential political time from Stephen Skowronek's The Politics Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to George Bush, I develop leadership cycles of Reconstructive, Great-Son Articulator, Preemption-One, Grandson Articulator, Preemption-Two, and Disjunctive Presidents. I develop the thesis through a literature review and chapter describing Presidential history from 1789-1829. From here, I use the Presidential leadership types in my Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, McKinley/Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Reagan cycles to understand why Presidents make the decisions they do and why we should understand the circumstances Presidents face before labeling them as great, average, or failed Presidents. I also speculate how the cycle offers predictable leadership characteristics for future Presidencies and the elections that have put Presidents into office throughout our history.

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2008