Quantitative Approaches to Studying the Presidency

William G. Howell

in The Oxford Handbook of the American Presidency

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199238859
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of American Politics

 Quantitative Approaches to Studying the Presidency

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  • US Politics
  • Political Methodology


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This article outlines the state of quantitative research on the presidency a quarter century after George Edwards issued his original entreaty. After briefly documenting publication trends on quantitative research on the presidency in a variety of professional journals, it describes the substantive contributions of selected quantitative studies to long-standing debates about the centralization and politicization of presidential authority, public appeals, and presidential policy making. It also pays particular attention to the ways in which recent scholarship addresses methodological issues that regularly plague studies of the organization of political institutions, their interactions with the public, and their influence in systems of separated powers. The literatures on bureaucratic control, public appeals, and unilateral policy making have made considerable advances in the past few years. There are still several challenges that face quantitative research on the US presidency.

Keywords: US presidency; George Edwards; quantitative research; centralization; politicization; presidential authority; public appeals; presidential policy making; bureaucratic control

Article.  10025 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Methodology

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