The Paradigm of Development in Presidential History

Stephen Skowronek

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

The Paradigm of Development in Presidential History


This article provides a discussion on the paradigm of development in presidential history. The paradigm of development was stamped on contemporary understandings of the presidency very early on. The article also describes the issues and controversies emerging within and among presidential history. An adequate explanation is offered for whatever variation might be observed in the executive invocation of plebiscitary standards of legitimacy. Unitary theorists agree with the post-progressive critics of the modern presidency: they too see that modern American political development has led to the derangement of American institutions. The current opening for historical research is finally described.

Keywords: presidential history; presidency; American political development; plebiscitary standards; legitimacy

Article.  10635 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics ; Political Institutions

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