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Rockman-Politics of Persuasion

Rockman-Politics of Persuasion - Rockman Reader Dickinson...

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Rockman Reader: Dickinson, Politics of Persuasion Dickinson offers a persuasive argument that skill matters. This chapter explains why Neustadt’s bargaining paradigm remains at the heart of presidency research more than four decades after PP was first published. The answer, Dickinson argues, has less to do with the weakness of the presidency subfield than with the dictates of the constitutional system that prompted Neustadt to write it in the first place. Presidents have no reasonable alternative to bargaining as a means of exercising influence on an ongoing basis. Powers refer to the constitutional, statutory, and traditional authority designated to the president. To capitalize on advantages, presidents must cultivate two additional sources of influence: their professional reputation and their public prestige says Neustadt. Professional reputation is president’s “skill and will…to us his advantages.” First impressions mean more than subsequent ones. Once the reputation is fixed in the mines of Washingtonians, it becomes difficult to change. Public prestige-his standing with Washingtonians’ various publics- provides a third source of influence. Prestige operates mostly in the political background, providing “leeway” regarding what a president might accomplish, rather than directly determining bargain outcomes. Some argue that “…Neustadt’s work…no longer offers a reliable roadmap embodying the consensus among contemporary scholars. The current study of the presidency is motivated by different concerns and is pursuing new theoretical and substantive research questions.”-Jacobs and Shapiro Dickinson’s objective is to silence the naysayers and defend Neustadt.
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