Political Science | The American Presidency
Y318 | 3937 | Faber
The President of the United States is arguably the most powerful
individual in the world. He holds tremendous influence, both inside
and outside of the United States. Yet the Founders, in designing the
office, are believed to have envisioned a clerk, working largely
behind the scenes to carry out the legislative wishes of Congress.
Constitutionally, the president seems to have little formal power.
From where does this power come then, and why have we allowed the
presidency to grow into what it is today?
In this course, we will examine presidential power. We will look
back to the historical beginnings of the presidency and examine how
it has evolved through time. We will read both original documents
and scholarly works on presidential power. We will explore
presidential interaction with other branches of government and with
the media. We will spend some time on presidential elections,
focusing on how campaigns are run. Finally, we will examine the
presidency today and discuss the performance of recent presidents.