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November 1988
208 pages  

6 x 9
9780822985099
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The Politics of the U.S. Cabinet
Representation in the Executive Branch, 1789-1984
Cohen, Jeffrey
Jeffrey E. Cohen presents a detailed, quantitative study of the characteristics of presidential cabinets from the days of George Washington through the first Reagan administration.

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Jeffrey E. Cohen is chair of the Department of political science at Fordham University.
“Jeffrey Cohen has written a tightly constructed, carefully argued, methodologically sophisticated, and historically grounded study of an important U.S. political institution. . . . The Politics of the U.S. Cabinet is a significant work of original research that will be frequently cited in any future studies of U.S. executive organization.”—American Political Science Review

“Jeffrey Cohen provides a detailed quantified analysis of the characteristics of presidential cabinets from George Washington through Ronald Reagan's first term. . . . [and] concludes with a particularly interesting theoretical argument.”—Political Science Quarterly

“The American presidential cabinet enjoys a long tradition as a highly visible, easily identifiable governmental institution. . . . [But], the institution has not received the attention one might have expected in contemporary political science. Part of this neglect may stem from the lack of an established theoretical framework from which to approach research on the cabinet. Providing a remedy for this situation is by far the greatest contribution of Jeffrey Cohen's new book.”—Congress and the Presidency

“The Politics of the U.S. Cabinet is of interest to serious students of the presidency, as well as to those who are concerned with political leadership and theories of representation. . . . It provides a good overview of an important political entity.”—Perspective

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Political Science/US
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Jeffrey E. Cohen presents a detailed, quantitative study of the characteristics of presidential cabinets from the days of George Washington through the first Reagan administration. Dividing U.S. history into five party eras, he examines cabinet members' age, education, region, occupation, recruitment patterns, party affiliations, and relations with other branches and institutions of government. This study also addresses major theoretical issues: the Constitution never provided for a cabinet, although George Washington established it. Questions soon arose as to its functions, relation to Congress, and the rules and precedents guiding its activities. Cohen examines how the cabinet balanced representation and capability, and how, despite a lack of institutional authority, it has managed to survive through every administration.
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