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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Going public, staying private, and everything in between
by Harper, Tiffany, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2010, 174; 3411982
Abstract (Summary)

In this dissertation, I develop and empirically test a comparison of the private versus public strategies presidents use to gain support and passage of their policy agendas. By focusing on presidential influence on policy outcomes in Congress, I can determine which form of presidential leadership – going public or using private bargaining or both – may prove most effective in shaping policies to suit the administration’s political interests, given the context in Congress. This allows for an assessment of Neustadt’s (1990) classic private bargaining presidency and Kernell’s (1997) public presidency to show that both may be compatible and may even work in combination in order for presidents to pass their policy agendas under varying political circumstances in Congress.

Original data is collected from Statements of Administration Policy to examine private presidential rhetoric, and additional data is collected from the yearly editions of Congressional Quarterly Almanac to assess the effects of public presidential rhetoric. I test my hypotheses with this new collection of data using logistic regressions, as well as complimentary case studies of No Child Left Behind, immigration reform, and the Andean Trade Preference Act. The broader implications of this study include: systematic assessments of presidential influence on Congress; indentifying a broader view of presidential leadership to better fit empirical observations; and incorporating inter-branch influences in Congressional behavior.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Norrander, Barbara
Commitee: Kim, Henry, Westerland, Chad
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Political Science
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 71/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science, Public administration
Keywords: Bargaining, Congress, Going public, Presidency, President, Staying private
Publication Number: 3411982
ISBN: 978-1-124-08535-7
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