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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the ways in which the literature engages neutral competence and how neutral competence matters for presidential governance of the bureaucracy. It also investigates three areas of the literature: studies of the management and reorganization of the bureaucracy, studies that apply economic theory to questions of presidential influence, and studies of direct ‘unilateral’ presidential action. Then, two related research topics in the institutional presidency are reported. The article applies theories of leadership developed in the field of public administration to the study of the presidency. Moreover, the useful connections between the fields of political science and public administration are elaborated. Ambiguity as a resource for the institutional presidency rests within the grant of authority in the Constitution, as well as in the mandates, processes, and debates of the policy-making process. Presidents are affected by models of leadership that emerge from the complexities of the institutional presidency.

Keywords: presidential governance, bureaucracy, unilateral presidential action, institutional presidency, political science, public administration, economic theory

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