Prerogative Power and Presidential Politics

Richard M. Pious

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

 Prerogative Power and Presidential Politics

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This article uses the broadest possible definition of presidential prerogative, covering all powers a president may claim from the Constitution. Prerogative politics involves the substitution of presidential fiat and unilateral action for statutory authorization and collaborative decision making. The open politics of routine domestic prerogative is fundamentally different from the closed politics of ‘high prerogative’. The assertion of prerogative leads to the institution of prerogative governance. The outcomes of prerogative governance are covered. Some insights from traditional political science literature are dealt with, and then some of the newer methodological approaches are described. Each method of advancing the study of presidential prerogative has made important contributions. The study of presidential prerogative power is likely to advance on all three fronts: through doctrinal approaches, behavioural approaches, and the use of formal modeling.

Keywords: presidential prerogative; prerogative power; prerogative politics; prerogative governance; American president; Constitution

Article.  10344 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Public Administration

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