This essay identifies five schools of presidential study and argues that the presidency is better understood for the plurality of scholarly approaches embodied in them. The obstacles to the presidency's study notwithstanding, much more is now known about the presidency as an institution than was the case as recently as the mid-1970s. The essay argues that further research ought ideally to meet three conditions: It must be constitutionally informed and politically nuanced; it must be empirically rich, drawing on primary data in some form; and the investigation of particular cases should proceed with the cases' wider significance in mind, if not necessarily with the explicit intention of generating theory.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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