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Decline and Fall of the American Republic

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ISBN-10: 0674725840

ISBN-13: 9780674725843

Edition: 2013

Authors: Bruce Ackerman

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Bruce Ackerman shows how the institutional dynamics of the last half-century have transformed the American presidency into a potential platform for political extremism and lawlessness. Watergate, Iran-Contra, and the War on Terror are only symptoms of deeper pathologies. -Ackerman points to a series of developments that have previously been treated independently of one another--from the rise of presidential primaries, to the role of pollsters and media gurus, to the centralization of power in White House czars, to the politicization of the military, to the manipulation of constitutional doctrine to justify presidential power-grabs. He shows how these different transformations can interact to generate profound constitutional crises in the twenty-first century--and then proposes a series of reforms that will minimize, if not eliminate, the risks going forward.The book aims to begin a new constitutional debate. Americans should not suppose that Barack Obama's centrism and constitutionalism will typify the presidencies of the twenty-first century. We should seize the present opportunity to confront deeper institutional pathologies before it is too late.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 9/2/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 280
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

Bruce Ackerman is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University.

Introduction: Triumphalism
The Most Dangerous Branch
An Extremist Presidency
The Politicized Military
The Question of Legitimacy
Three Crises
Executive Constitutionalism
Enlightening Politics
Restoring the Rule of Law
Conclusion: Living Dangerously