Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 23 of 23

Full-Text Articles in Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation

Agency Input As A Policy Making Tool: Analyzing The Influence Of Agency Input On Presidential Policy Success In Congress, José Villalobos Aug 2013

Agency Input As A Policy Making Tool: Analyzing The Influence Of Agency Input On Presidential Policy Success In Congress, José Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

This study posits a theoretical framework for understanding the role and value of agency input in presidential legislative policy making. I assert that by employing agency input for policy development, presidents instill their proposals with a degree of bureaucratic objectivity, expertise, process transparency, and agency support, which aids their legislative passage while lowering the extent of changes made to policy substance in the process. To test my hypotheses, I conduct binary and ordered logistic regression analyses using pooled cross-sectional data across twelve administrations from 1949-2010. I find that agency input serves as a key component for increased presidential legislative success.


A Federalist George W. Bush And An Anti-Federalist Barack Obama? The Irony And Paradoxes Behind Republican And Democratic Administration Drug Policies, José Villalobos Aug 2013

A Federalist George W. Bush And An Anti-Federalist Barack Obama? The Irony And Paradoxes Behind Republican And Democratic Administration Drug Policies, José Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

During President George W. Bush’s tenure in the White House, his administration stood clearly against state-level efforts in California and elsewhere to decriminalize soft drugs. Despite his loyalty to smaller government values and state sovereignty on other issues, the prospect of state-level drug decriminalization led Bush to pursue federal means of enforcing anti-drug laws. Years later, President Barack Obama, though known for his reputation as a federalist, shifted power over drug policy enforcement more towards the state level as a means to allow certain states to enact drug decriminalization policies at their will, particularly with respect to medicinal marijuana ...


The Metamorphosis Of Leadership In A Democratic Mexico (2010), By Roderic Ai Camp, José Villalobos Dec 2012

The Metamorphosis Of Leadership In A Democratic Mexico (2010), By Roderic Ai Camp, José Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

No abstract provided.


Building Coalitions, Making Policy: The Politics Of The Clinton, Bush, And Obama Presidencies, By Martin A. Levin, Daniel Disalvo, And Martin M. Shapiro, Eds., José D. Villalobos Dec 2012

Building Coalitions, Making Policy: The Politics Of The Clinton, Bush, And Obama Presidencies, By Martin A. Levin, Daniel Disalvo, And Martin M. Shapiro, Eds., José D. Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

No abstract provided.


Manager-In-Chief: Applying Public Management Theory To Examine White House Chief Of Staff Performance, David B. Cohen, Justin S. Vaughn, José D. Villalobos Nov 2012

Manager-In-Chief: Applying Public Management Theory To Examine White House Chief Of Staff Performance, David B. Cohen, Justin S. Vaughn, José D. Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

In an effort to examine the causal determinants of performance dynamics for the administrative presidency, we apply empirical public management theory to White House administration to explain managerial performance. Utilizing original survey data that measures the perceptions of former officials from the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton administrations, we conduct quantitative analyses to determine the extent to which a chief of staff’s background, relationship with the president, and internal as well as external management approaches shape overall perceptions of White House administrative efforts. We find that managerial dimensions matter considerably when explaining the dynamics of White House ...


Sitting With Oprah, Dancing With Ellen: Presidents, Daytime Television, And Soft News, José D. Villalobos Oct 2012

Sitting With Oprah, Dancing With Ellen: Presidents, Daytime Television, And Soft News, José D. Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

On July 29, 2010, President Barack Obama took to the air on "The View" to talk politics, policy, and family. Pundits billed the visit as the first time a sitting U.S. president appeared in a daytime television program. The telecast drew about 6.7 million viewers, the highest rating ever for the show, and garnered the largest number of women viewers in 17 months. However, whether and to what extent Obama succeeded in getting his message out and endearing himself to female voters remains an open question that merits further scholarly inquiry. In this chapter, I put Obama’s ...


Politics Or Policy? How Rhetoric Matters To Presidential Leadership Of Congress, José Villalobos, Justin Vaughn, Julia Azari Aug 2012

Politics Or Policy? How Rhetoric Matters To Presidential Leadership Of Congress, José Villalobos, Justin Vaughn, Julia Azari

José D. Villalobos

In this study, we examine the linkage between presidential policy proposal messages and legislative success. Employing a dataset on presidential legislative proposals that covers the years 1949-2010, we find that politics matters less than policy. Purely political messages that reference the electoral logic of mandates or appeal to a sense of bipartisanship appear to have no impact on presidential legislative success, nor does policy signaling, though highlighting the role of agency-based policy experts in crafting legislation does. From these results, we conclude that although the way presidents communicate their messages to Congress represents an important component of presidential-legislative relations, it ...


The Policy Czar Debate, Justin S. Vaughn, José D. Villalobos Aug 2012

The Policy Czar Debate, Justin S. Vaughn, José D. Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

Presidential policy czars have been an important and powerful component of President Barack Obama’s approach to management and leadership in the first part of his time in office. By using czars, the President has been able to demonstrate the importance of policy issues, both to his own agenda and to the broader political system. In this chapter, we find that performance outcomes for these czars have been a mixed bag, with as many stories of success to report as tales of frustration and failure. As such, we posit that the cost of czars, in political and organizational terms, has ...


James A. Garfield: 20th President Of The United States, José D. Villalobos Feb 2012

James A. Garfield: 20th President Of The United States, José D. Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

President James A. Garfield served for only 200 days before an assassin’s bullets ended his unlikely rise to power. Garfield was the last “log cabin” president and a life-long Republican, both in the tradition of his predecessor, Ulysses Grant. In his lifetime, he served honorably as educator, general, and politician. His surprising nomination for president in 1880 earned him the nickname of the “Dark Horse” candidate, and his victory in the general election sealed his place in history as a U.S. president. His rise to power and tragic death highlight an important episode of the Gilded Age. Although ...


Agenda Setting From The Oval Office: An Experimental Examination Of Presidential Influence Over The Public Agenda, José D. Villalobos, Cigdem V. Sirin Jan 2012

Agenda Setting From The Oval Office: An Experimental Examination Of Presidential Influence Over The Public Agenda, José D. Villalobos, Cigdem V. Sirin

José D. Villalobos

This study employs an experimental approach to isolate and directly test the extent to which presidents can affect public perceptions of issue importance and support for policy action, taking into consideration key factors that condition such effects. Our findings provide new empirical evidence that presidents can, in fact, positively influence public opinion through agenda setting, particularly by increasing the perceptual importance of low salience foreign policy issues. However, the results also indicate that such positive effects do not translate into public support for policy action; instead, presidential appeals actually decrease support. Last, our study offers new evidence that employing bipartisan ...


Ford Foundation, José Villalobos Dec 2011

Ford Foundation, José Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

No abstract provided.


Staff Of The People? Assessing Progress In Descriptive Representation Under The Obama Administration, José D. Villalobos Nov 2011

Staff Of The People? Assessing Progress In Descriptive Representation Under The Obama Administration, José D. Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

Over the past few decades, presidents have made some increasingly noticeable efforts to fill their administrations with a higher number of minorities. Though not yet fully representative of the general public, such advances in descriptive representation are a sign of progressive change occurring within the executive branch, with positive potential implications for the state of representative democracy and public policy. In this article, I survey the current state of descriptive representation under the Obama presidency and the extent to which the president’s policy agenda has substantively addressed the needs of historically underrepresented groups. Descriptively, I find that President Barack ...


The Trouble With Unity: Latino Politics And The Creation Of Identity (2010), By Cristina Beltrán, José Villalobos Oct 2011

The Trouble With Unity: Latino Politics And The Creation Of Identity (2010), By Cristina Beltrán, José Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

No abstract provided.


Nixon’S Super-Secretaries: The Last Grand Presidential Reorganization Effort (2010), By Mordecai Lee, José Villalobos May 2011

Nixon’S Super-Secretaries: The Last Grand Presidential Reorganization Effort (2010), By Mordecai Lee, José Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

No abstract provided.


Where Does The Buck Stop? Applying Attribution Theory To Examine Public Appraisals Of The President, Cigdem V. Sirin, José D. Villalobos May 2011

Where Does The Buck Stop? Applying Attribution Theory To Examine Public Appraisals Of The President, Cigdem V. Sirin, José D. Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

This study applies attribution theory to examine public appraisals of the president. To date, most political science research on attribution theory has focused on domestic policy and no work has considered both domestic and foreign policy domains in tandem. To fill this gap, we formulate and experimentally test a series of hypotheses regarding the level of responsibility and credit/blame that individuals attribute to the president in both policy domains across varying policy conditions. We also consider how party compatibility affects people’s attribution judgments. Our findings provide a new contribution to the literature on political attributions, executive accountability, and ...


Promises And Human Rights: The Obama Administration On Immigrant Detention Policy Reform, José D. Villalobos Apr 2011

Promises And Human Rights: The Obama Administration On Immigrant Detention Policy Reform, José D. Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

This article evaluates the Obama administration’s efforts towards reforming U.S. immigration detention policies. Over the past decade, immigrant rights advocates have increasingly criticized certain policies of the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) system of immigration detention, including the widespread use of private contractors, lack of proper oversight, grouping of violent criminals and non-violent undocumented immigrants (particularly minority women and children) in holding cells, and neglect of detained immigrants in need of medical attention. In reviewing these developments, I contend that the Obama administration must take substantive steps towards reforming the existing system, particularly by instituting legally ...


White House Staff, Justin S. Vaughn, José D. Villalobos Dec 2009

White House Staff, Justin S. Vaughn, José D. Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

The White House Staff provides the bureaucratic framework that makes presidential leadership possible. Even though modern presidents continue to face constraints by the constitutional structure and political reality in successfully straddling the expectations gap that continues to enlarge, the staff presents the president with his best opportunity to anticipate and exploit leadership opportunities in the best case and manage crisis and cope with challenges in the worst. In recent decades, scholarly efforts to analyze the influence and importance of the White House staff has continued apace the institution’s own evolution. In this chapter, we evaluate the state of these ...


Revolt Against The Czars: Why Barack Obama’S Staffing Critics Are (Mostly) Wrong, José D. Villalobos, Justin S. Vaughn Dec 2009

Revolt Against The Czars: Why Barack Obama’S Staffing Critics Are (Mostly) Wrong, José D. Villalobos, Justin S. Vaughn

José D. Villalobos

Rather than view the alleged proliferation of “czars” in recent presidential administrations as a threat to the constitutional order, we consider it part of an ongoing reorganization of the presidential branch designed to maximize leadership capacity as presidents continue to take more responsibility for policy development and implementation, a phenomenon driven as much by congressional abdication as presidential zeal for power. The real debate lies over whether the president can delegate his constitutional authority to those who work beneath him. We posit that presidents may choose to delegate within their own discretion, so long as it is within the limits ...


The Obama Administration's Challenges After The 'War On Science': Reforming Staffing Practices And Protecting Scientific Integrity In The Executive Branch, Justin Vaughn, José Villalobos Nov 2009

The Obama Administration's Challenges After The 'War On Science': Reforming Staffing Practices And Protecting Scientific Integrity In The Executive Branch, Justin Vaughn, José Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

In this article, we examine the difficult leadership position President Barack Obama inherited as he took office with respect to science and technology policy making and implementation, particularly following the Bush administration and years of the so-called "war on science." We contend that the Obama administration's challenge is not only to take substantive policy action, but also to reform certain administrative practices, particularly in light of the previous administration's practice of the politics of strategic vacancies, a managerial technique that rearranges an agency's ideological inclinations not through the usual forms of active politicization (i.e., by filling ...


Presidential Staffing And Public Opinion: How Public Opinion Influences Politicization, José Villalobos, Justin Vaughn Dec 2008

Presidential Staffing And Public Opinion: How Public Opinion Influences Politicization, José Villalobos, Justin Vaughn

José D. Villalobos

Scholars traditionally frame presidential efforts to politicize the federal bureaucracy as the result of divergence between the president's preferences and an agency's output. The authors argue that presidential concern with agency output is dynamic and is in part conditioned by the president's relationship with the public. To assess the relationship between politicization and public opinion, the authors use a data set that combines information on presidential efforts to politicize the Council of Economic Advisers from 1989 to 2004 with that of public attitudes concerning the president's handling of the economy. Their results indicate that public opinion ...


The Managing Of The Presidency: Applying Theory-Driven Empirical Models To The Study Of White House Bureaucratic Performance, Justin S. Vaughn, José D. Villalobos Dec 2008

The Managing Of The Presidency: Applying Theory-Driven Empirical Models To The Study Of White House Bureaucratic Performance, Justin S. Vaughn, José D. Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

We argue that scholars of the presidency should begin to apply their rich descriptive understanding of White House organization and personnel to questions of causality. To help guide this effort, we offer a theory-driven empirical model that explains organizational performance. Importing theory from the public management literature, we show how scholars can use the Meier-O'Toole (MO) model to explain performance outcomes and dynamics for key political and policy functions within the institutional presidency. We introduce the MO model and discuss its potential impact on the field of presidency studies.


Obama’S Empty Cupboard: Contending With Administrative Vacancies And The Threat To Neutral Competence, Justin S. Vaughn, José D. Villalobos Dec 2008

Obama’S Empty Cupboard: Contending With Administrative Vacancies And The Threat To Neutral Competence, Justin S. Vaughn, José D. Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

In this essay, we focus on the public administration challenge concerning the rising number of politically motivated administrative vacancies resulting from George W. Bush's tenure in office with which President Barack Obama must now contend. We argue that the hyper-politicization of personnel decision-making during the presidency of George W. Bush left many parts of the federal bureaucracy understaffed, yet more densely populated by staffers chosen more for ideological and political congruence than administrative competence. For President Obama to achieve key aspects of his policy agenda, he must first attend to fixing these staffing problems and then to reforming the ...


Conceptualizing And Measuring White House Staff Influence On Presidential Rhetoric, Justin Vaughn, José Villalobos Dec 2005

Conceptualizing And Measuring White House Staff Influence On Presidential Rhetoric, Justin Vaughn, José Villalobos

José D. Villalobos

Scholars have debated extensively the impact of presidential rhetoric on public opinion and congressional behavior, but have largely ignored the determinants of what the president actually says. This inattention is partly the result of the difficulty of acquiring systematic observations of presidential speech crafting. We devise a method of quantifying White House staff influence over the composition of rhetoric that captures the multistage negotiations between the president's speechwriters and his policy advisors and provides a framework for future studies on the determinants of presidential rhetoric. We employ our method to study influence over the writing of President George H ...