Part A. Identify and discuss the significance (2 paragraphs for each answer) of two of the following terms (35 points each, 70 points total). Your answers should draw on the readings and focus on how these terms relate to our understanding of the presidency (including reference to the particular presidents we have focused on in the last modules). Note here that you should also reference the frameworks we have explored rather than just describing the policy. For instance, is it helpful to think about Neustadt’s ideas when discussing Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Act? Does Skowronek’s theory help us understand Reagan’s policies? How does Grover see OSHA fitting into his ‘structural’ or political economy approach to the presidency?
Pick Two of the following topics below and write 2 paragraphs for each the 2 you have chosen:
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (Reagan)
Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Johnson)
Disjunctive (regime decline) presidents (this could potentially include Carter and Trump)
Carter’s energy bill of 1977
Part B. Among the presidents we focused on in the second half of class, which one is most interesting to you and why? Write a short (at least 1 full paragraph) discussion of this question that references at least one example from the readings of a particular policy, political issue, or skill associated with that president. (10 points – there is no wrong answer here, so don’t worry too much about points.)
Part C. Please write a 3-4pg double spaced 12pt font. You should write this as clearly as possible and use page citations to support your analysis, but the writing style can be a little more informal than the previous assignments.
TOPIC: “Political and economic context creates more opportunity for some presidents than for others. But skill determines how well or poorly presidents respond to those opportunities.”
Write something that explores the two sides of this argument while discussing the domestic policy efforts of at least two of the presidents focused on in recent class readings (Johnson, Carter, Reagan, Trump). In other words, please explore how context shapes the possibilities for different presidents, and also consider how their political skills then influence what they accomplish. Make sure you use class frameworks (theories) in your argument. Your writing should also provide specific policy examples in relation to each president you are discussing (these can be “successes” and/or “failures” in terms of a given president’s ability to achieve their own policy agenda and related goals).
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