The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic

Paperback | April 15, 2013

byEric A. Posner, Adrian Vermeule

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Ever since Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. used "imperial presidency" as a book title, the term has become central to the debate about the balance of power in the U.S. government. Since the presidency of George W. Bush, when advocates of executive power such as Dick Cheney gained ascendancy, theargument has blazed hotter than ever. Many argue the Constitution itself is in grave danger. What is to be done? The answer, according to legal scholars Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule, is nothing. In The Executive Unbound, they provide a bracing challenge to conventional wisdom, arguing that a strong presidency is inevitable in the modern world. Most scholars, they note, object to today's level of executive power because it varies so dramatically from the vision of the framers. But there isnothing in our system of checks and balances that intrinsically generates order or promotes positive arrangements. In fact, the greater complexity of the modern world produces a concentration of power, particularly in the White House. The authors chart the rise of executive authority straightthrough to the Obama presidency. Political, cultural and social restraints, they argue, have been more effective in preventing dictatorship than any law. The executive-centered state tends to generate political checks that substitute for the legal checks of the Madisonian constitution.

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Ever since Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. used "imperial presidency" as a book title, the term has become central to the debate about the balance of power in the U.S. government. Since the presidency of George W. Bush, when advocates of executive power such as Dick Cheney gained ascendancy, theargument has blazed hotter than ever. Many argu...

Eric A. Posner is Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, and is the author of The Perils of Global Legalism, Terror in the Balance (written with Vermeule), and Climate Change Justice, among other books. Adrian Vermeule is John H. Watson Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and is the author...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:April 15, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199934037

ISBN - 13:9780199934034

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Constitutional Framework2. Constitutional Change3. The Statutory Framework4. Constraints on the Executive5. Global Liberal Legalism6. TyrannophobiaConclusion