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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Bruce Buchanan

Professor Ph.D., Yale University

Bruce Buchanan

Contact

Biography

Professor Buchanan's specialties include the presidency, American politics, American national institutions, and federal public policy. He is a presidential scholar and a political analyst whose commentary on the presidency and American politics appears in national and international print and broadcast news media. He served as the director of research for the Markle Foundation studies of the 1988, 1992, and 1996 presidential elections. His presidency research is concerned with how to make the institution both more effective and more democratic. This concern is reflected in each of his books, which include "The Presidential Experience" (Prentice- Hall, 1978), "The Citizen's Presidency" (Congressional Quarterly, 1987), "Electing A President" (Texas, 1991), "Renewing Presidential Politics" (Rowman and Littlefield, 1996), "The State of the Presidency" (ed. LBJ School/Library 2002), "Presidential Campaign Quality" (Prentice- Hall, 2004) and "The Policy Partnership" (Routledge, 2004). He is currently conducting research on how Americans judge presidents, and is writing a book on presidential accountability. A chapter from that book entitled "Presidential Accountability for Wars of Choice," is available here.

Interests

Presidential and American politics, American institutions, public policy and political behavior

T C 357 • The Responsible Presidency

43040 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 930am-1100am UTC 3.120
show description

This is a Plan II Junior Seminar and writing flag course. Its purpose is to sharpen your thinking, research, speaking and writing skills. The principal method is a research project that requires use of all these skills.  In this course we will examine the following questions and themes.  What systems are in place to hold presidents responsible for their actions/policy decisions and how do these parts interact?  What are the strengths and weaknesses of this system of responsibility?   What role specifically does the public play in presidential responsibility?   How can we tell if a president is being effectively held to account?  What incentives does a system of checks and balances give the president?  What happens to presidential responsibility under conditions of polarization?   Under what conditions do the agents of accountability hinder, leave untouched, or enhance the prospects for presidential effectiveness?  From the perspective of responsibility, we will look at policy decisions of various presidents related to issues such as the economy, foreign relations, education, health care and examine case studies from the Vietnam war, the Iraq war, the Korean war, among others.  Formal expectations and grading criteria are as follows:   

Text/Readings:

Kleinerman, B.  2009.  The Discretionary President. (Available at coop)

Reading packet to be available at UT copy center

Additional readings on Blackboard

Graded Assignment Categories

1. Mid-Term and Take-Home Final                                                   25%

2. Formal presentation on research project                                      25%

3. Research project rough draft and 12-15 pp. final report                25%

4. Citizen interviewing and coding activities                                     25%

 

About the Professor

Professor Buchanan holds an A.B. Degree from Stanford and a Ph.D. degree from Yale. His specialties include presidential politics, American political institutions and public policy. He has authored several books, among them The Presidential Experience (Prentice-Hall, 1978) and The Citizen's Presidency (Congressional Quarterly, 1987). His latest book, Presidential Power and Accountability, will be published in the fall of 2012 by Routledge Press.

 

 

T C 357 • The Responsible Presidency

43480 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ 1.118
show description

Description:

This is a Plan II Junior Seminar. Its purpose is to sharpen your thinking, research, speaking and writing skills. The principal method is to put everyone to work on a research project that requires use of all these skills.  In this course we will examine the following questions and themes.  What systems are in place to hold presidents responsible for their actions/policy decisions and how do these parts interact?  What are the strengths and weaknesses of this system of responsibility?   What role specifically does the public play in presidential responsibility?   How can we tell if a president is being effectively held to account?  What incentives does a system of checks and balances give the president?  What happens to presidential responsibility under conditions of polarization?   Under what conditions do the agents of responsibility hinder, leave untouched, or enhance the prospects for presidential effectiveness?  From the perspective of responsibility, we will look at policy decisions of various presidents related to issues such as the economy, foreign relations, education, health care and examine case studies from the Vietnam war, the Iraq war, the Korean war and the 1929 stock market crash. Formal expectations and grading criteria related to the projects and other requirements (e.g., exams, attendance, etc.) are as follows:   

 

Texts/Readings:

Rudalevige, Andrew.  2006.  The New Imperial Presidency.  University of Michigan Press

Howell, William G. and Jon C. Pevehouse. 2007.  While Dangers Gather:  Congressional Checks on Presidential Powers Princeton University Press.

Perret, Geoffrey. 2007.  Commander in Chief.  Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 

Assignments:

Regular participation in class discussions 25%

Mid-Term and Take-Home Final 25%

Formal presentation on research project 25%

20 page research project final term paper 25%

 

Professor Buchanan holds an A.B. Degree from Stanford and a Ph.D. degree from Yale. His specialties include presidential politics, American political institutions and public policy. He has authored several books, among them The Presidential Experience (Prentice-Hall, 1978) and The Citizen's Presidency (Congressional Quarterly, 1987). Professor Buchanan served as executive director of the Markle Commission on the Media and the Electorate, a project described in Electing A President: The Markle Commission Research on Campaign '88 (University of Texas, 1991). He was project director for the Markle Foundation Studies of the 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns, which led to his 1996 book, Renewing Presidential Politics (Rowman and Littlefield) and a forthcoming book entitled Presidential Campaigns and American Democracy.

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