Analysis Of Stephen Skowronek The Politics Presidents Make

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Many factors shape presidential leadership and a president’s capacity to change the direction of American politics. In The Politics Presidents Make, Stephen Skowronek argues that by accurately locating a President in political time it is possible to obtain an understanding of the broad character of a President’s leadership position and a better insight into the opportunities and constraints on leadership that characterize a President’s term of office. In the nature of politics, the ability to define what politics is and have a majority sign on to that interpretation is the center of the politics presidents make. The capacity to define politics is a function of location in political time. There are four principle leadership categories, which …show more content…
Structural elements are factors beyond what presidents have the ability to change. In order for a President to be successful, they must understand this structural environment to see which opportunities are available to them. In order to achieve their desired outcomes, they must be able to navigate that environment effectively and efficiently. Structural constants are basic constitutional relationships that all presidents inherit when they take office. The Constitution is the most important structural constant Presidents have to consider. Structural variables are stable features presidents confront in office, but they are more susceptible to change over time. These include elements such as: is government divided or unified, is the business cycle good or bad, is it times of war or peace, was the election a landslide or a close election. This encompasses presidential leadership opportunities and constraints not shared across contiguous …show more content…
The first era was Patrician, lasting from 1789-1832. During this era, the Presidency operated through interpersonal relationships with the elites in government (Skowronek 54). During this era, national interest was represented above factional interests and there was organized political opposition. The next era was Partisan, lasting from 1832-1900. In this era there was a national coalition of local party machines. During this era, Presidents relies on executive patronage and bribery to gain support for their policies (Skowronek 54). From 1900-1972 was the era of Pluralist politics. In this era, executive establishments were expanded to “cater to newly institutionalized interests and America’s rise to World Power” (Skowronek 54). There was institutional thickening as bureaucracies were expanded. Presidential strategy was to bargain with leaders of all institutions in order to make policy (Skowronek 54). From 1972 to present, we have been in Plebiscitary Politics. In this era, the strategy of the President is to appeal, over the heads of Washington’s elite, directly to the people at large through mass communications and technology (Skowronek

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