Two presidencies thesis, executive orders, divided government
Quantitative studies of the presidential use of executive orders have attempted to determine whether presidents are more prone to resort to unilateral action when faced with legislative opposition. To date, the results have been mixed however, with studies demonstrating that the type of executive order is an important factor in understanding the conditions under which presidents will resort to unilateral action. Despite this advancement in theory, there has been little consensus regarding the actual conditions under which presidents will issue the different types of executive orders that have been identified in the literature. This thesis addresses this puzzle through an empirical analysis that engages the "Two Presidencies Thesis," which argues that presidential decision-making, action and success is conditioned by policy area (foreign and domestic) and executive order type (major, routine, or symbolic). An original dataset was constructed by coding all executive orders issued between 1953 and 2008 as related to either foreign or domestic policy. Thus, an analysis is undertaken of major executive orders, minor executive orders, foreign policy-based executive orders, domestic policy-based executive orders, and major and minor categories of each policy area. A multivariate analysis is completed using negative binomial regression given that the dependent variables are overdispersed count variables. The effects of divided government and ideological distance are the primary independent variables examined. The ideological distance variable consists of the absolute distance between the president's ideology and the ideology of the median member of the Senate. Various other control variables are included, including presidential party, election year, and approval ratings. The findings indicate that executive order type does matter in predicting presidential use of executive orders and that the prevailing political climate does influence the president's use of executive orders.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Romich, Graham, "A Reassesment of the Presidential Use of Executive Orders, 1953-2008" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1397.