American Civil Rights Policy from Truman to Clinton: The Role of Presidential Leadership

By Steven A. Shull | Go to book overview

Notes
1.
Voting receives less emphasis in this book because it is considered a more universally accepted right. In addition, important research already exists on voting rights. See particularly Amaker 1988; Binion 1979; Bullock 1981; Engstrom 1986; Thernstrom 1987; Parker 1990; Davidson 1984; Garrow 1978; Scher and Button 1984.
2.
This book focuses on the following target groups: blacks, women, Hispanics/Native Americans, age, and other (including homosexual, disabled, and institutionalized persons).
3.
Racial steering is the practice of realtors' showing minorities properties only in minority or in "changing" neighborhoods; blockbusting refers to encouraging whites to sell properties quickly (and often cheaply) because minorities have moved in; redlining refers to various practices making loans more difficult for minorities to obtain ( Lamb 1984, 150-51).
4.
Sources using the sequential (process) approach include Jones 1984; Anderson 1990; Anderson et al. 1984; Ripley 1985; Shull 1989a; Polsby 1969, 66-68; Gleiber and Shull 1992; MacRae and Wilde 1979; Shull and Gleiber 1994.
5.
One important collection of case studies that lead to more general theory is Irving Janis Groupthink ( 1982), which analyzes faulty decision making resulting from the psychological tendency toward like-mindedness. Another important and more directly related work ( Bullock and Lamb 1984) encompasses cases but also lays a theoretical framework of ten factors that should influence the implementation of civil rights. James Barber Presidential Character ( 1992) advances a "predictive" model of presidential personality based on biographies (case studies). LeLoup and Shull ( 1999) use sixteen case studies within an analytical framework of congressional-presidential policy making.
6.
Levine and Wexler ( 1981) reveal the many participants in civil rights policy making in a careful case study of the history of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. This case shows how interest groups, the state and federal courts, and Congress were all more instrumental in getting this policy approved than was the president. In fact, they conclude that the president was an obstacle who had to be worked around. Nonetheless, even as an obstacle, the president was a critical focus for the proponents. This example illustrates the president's contrasting leader-follower role (see also Scotch 1984).
7.
Whether the president can exert leadership is related to many phenomena. Various environmental conditions suggest that actor perceptions are important. The personality of the president, the extent to which he seeks innovative change, the nature of the economy and times in general, the timing of presidential proposals, the quality of his liaison staff, his previous experience, the extent to which he becomes involved personally, the degree of congressional assertiveness, the partisan and leadership composition of Congress, and the general strength of the political party system may all be important in assessing actor interactions in the policy-making process. Obviously this study cannot measure the effects of all these conditions.
8.
An exception occurs when a small elite succeeds in placing an item on the public agenda in opposition to presidential preferences. Moreover, some issues are purposely left off the public agenda and, therefore, are nondecisions.

-28-

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