The American Politics Speaker Series (APSS) welcomes Andrew Reeves, Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Political Science, Washington University in St. Louis. Prof. Reeves will present chapters from his book, No Blank Check: The Origins and Consequences of Public Antipathy towards Presidential Power, co-authored with Jon C. Rogowski.
This talk will take place online, registration is required.
No Blank Check: The Origins and Consequences of Public Antipathy towards Presidential Power
Talk abstract: Americans have deep-seated skepticism about presidential power. This skepticism is not always made explicit in the public’s day-to-day political expressions, but it is a latent force in American political culture forged at the founding of the nation and ingrained in grade school civics lessons. It is not a legalistic or intellectual understanding of the text of the US Constitution or Declaration of Independence. Rather, this skepticism reflects a belief that the separation of powers, especially in their protection from tyranny, is sacrosanct. Just as Americans celebrate the Declaration of Independence—an indictment against monarchical executive power—or cheer against King George III in the musical Hamilton, the public has inherited a wariness toward executive power. This latent force influences how Americans evaluate presidents and their policies and provides the political incentives for the familiar push-and-pull found in interbranch political conflict.
This seminar is part of the American Political Speakers Series, sponsored by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, and co-sponsored by CAPS.