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, Volume 167, Issue 1–2, pp 145–171 | Cite as

Presidential unilateral action: partisan influence and presidential power

  • Fang-Yi Chiou
  • Lawrence S. Rothenberg
Article
  • 393 Downloads

Abstract

Focusing on executive orders (EOs) and extending previous models, we present a general theoretical framework of unilateral presidential action. This framework allows us to examine systematically how various possible party roles, such as agenda setting, result in legislative gridlock which, in turn, create or undercut presidential incentives, and how directional constraints on discretion undermine presidential leverage. In particular, negative agenda setting and party discipline intensify gridlock, enhancing presidential policy gains; positive agenda setting’s effect depends upon governmental regime. Empirically, majority parties consistently play some role, especially negative agenda setting, regardless of the threshold used to define EO significance, while party discipline is more pronounced with higher thresholds. Also, while a majority party median is crucial for constraining the direction of how presidents use discretion with lower thresholds, a chamber median (whose preference may be induced by party pressure) is key with higher thresholds.

Keywords

Presidency Unilateral action Legislative gridlock Political parties 

Supplementary material

11127_2016_335_MOESM1_ESM.doc (510 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 509 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Political Science, Academia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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