Executive Power in American Institutional Development
Posted: 12 Jul 2004
Many scholars of American politics implicitly or explicitly assume a model of congressional dominance. This standard narrative has been made explicit in principal-agent models of interbranch relations, in which the executive serves as a mere agent of the legislative principal. There are important limitations to the applicability of principal-agent models in the political context, and the assumption of congressional dominance obscures many important features of American politics. Over the course of American history, institutional development has often been driven by either autonomous executive action or conflicts between Congress and the executive. The argument is illustrated by reference to three cases: the growth of the federal extension service, the rise of national security intelligence operations, and the growth of the presidential impoundment power.
Note: This is a description of the paper and not the actual abstract.
Keywords: presidency, congress, delegation, presidential power, separation of powers
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation