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Madison's NightmareHow Executive Power Threatens American Democracy$
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Peter M. Shane

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226749396

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226749426.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 February 2021

The President's Personal Bureaucracy: Administrative Accountability and the Unitary Executive

The President's Personal Bureaucracy: Administrative Accountability and the Unitary Executive

Chapter:
(p.143) 6 The President's Personal Bureaucracy: Administrative Accountability and the Unitary Executive
Source:
Madison's Nightmare
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226749426.003.0006

This chapter investigates how Presidents Ronald Reagan through Bush 43 have sought to extend the control and how, if they and their successors prevail in this campaign, presidentialism is likely to undermine not only the rule of law, but democratic accountability more generally. The difference between the President as overseer and the President as decider can shape many a key decision. The openness of agency decision making to public scrutiny is itself a guarantee of public accountability. Under Bush 41, dysfunctional presidentialism in the form of the Council on Competitiveness was seen. The Council was not effective in increasing the correspondence between agency outcomes and popular opinion. The elevation of the President from “overseer” to “decider” simply cannot be shown to serve the public interest overall. Presidentialism promises to offer not only bad theory, but bad government.

Keywords:   presidentialism, Ronald Reagan, Bush 43, public accountability, Bush 41, Council on Competitiveness, overseer, decider

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