the debate about what william howell calls unilateral presidential power and how this affects the checks and balances which are the foundation of our political system

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The American Political System – POLI 102 online Spring 2019 Critical Analysis Essay Assignment #2

Due 5/18 . Maximum 5 single space pages. Submit via safeassign on the blackboard site. Feel free to view the video about how to upload the video again.

The purpose of this assignment is to explain and critically reflect upon the debate about what William Howell calls “unilateral” presidential power and how this affects the checks and balances which are the foundation of our political system.


1) William Howell excerpt from Power Without Persuasion 2003

2) Richard Neustadt excerpt from Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents 1960, 1990 (revised)

3) The account of how presidential unilateral power arises from the president’s administrative responsibilities (in AG Chapter 7, the section called “The Administrative State” – you can skip the “analyzing the evidence” pages as well as the subsection called “signing statements”)

4) Overview of recent happenings described in the CRS report – (the pdf is included here)

5) summary of “unilateral” actions by current president at

6) battle with congress over national emergency powers

Write an essay in which you:

a) Explainwhat Howell means by “unilateral” power, including the Constitutional sources and historical background of such power, and contrasthis account to Neustadt’s idea that presidential power is limited to the “power to persuade.”

Make sure you carefully explain WHY Howell thinks Congress is partially responsible for the fact that this kind of power has become more common. Also, given recent events, explain whether you would describe the current president as “powerful” or not. Which version of “powerful” (Howell’s and/or Neustadt’s) are you using? Do you think the president has become TOO powerful?

**Every reference to someone else’s ideas (whether a direct citation or a paraphrase) mustbe accompanied by an IN TEXT citation of author and page number/website name (not website address). [MLA format is fine – example: “quotation sentence” (Howell, 510)]. Include a reference list at the end with complete citation information and website addresses where appropriate.

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