Presidential politicization and centralization across the modern-traditional divide

Daniel Galvin*, Colleen Shogan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Conventional wisdom describes the "modern presidency" as an institution with more political authority and autonomy than its "traditional" nineteenth-century predecessor. A central claim is that since the rise of the modern executive establishment, presidents have had an incentive to "politicize" and "centralize" their authority within the executive branch. Examining three lesser-known pre-modern presidents, we argue that the tendency for presidents to politicize and centralize is neither distinctly modern nor particularly extraordinary. Rather, it is a fundamental presidential impulse that finds its roots in the ambiguous form of executive power in America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-504
Number of pages28
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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