The Evolving American Presidency

Presidents and Political Scandal

Managing Scandal in the Modern Era

Authors: Barberio, Richard P.

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  • Introduces and pioneers a new concept—the use of backfires to manage scandal—unique to the existing scholarship on politics and scandal
  • Provides a distinctive approach to the study of presidential power in the modern era through the unique conceptual lens of scandal
  • Inclusion of historical and contemporary case-studies makes the material accessible for students while providing rigorous analysis for academics
  • Focus on the current and recent presidents makes the project of interest to a wider network of academics, students, and general interest readers
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eBook 48,14 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-45504-0
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Hardcover 83,19 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-45503-3
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  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
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Softcover 59,27 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-45506-4
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  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
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About this book

This book explores presidential power through an analysis of the ways that U.S. presidents attempt to manage scandals. While presidents routinely stonewall to block or limit investigations into their alleged transgressions or, in some cases, cooperate with investigators, this book proposes the existence of a third way of responding to scandals—a “backfire” or the creation of a counter-scandal to try to extinguish the original scandal. The existence of possible backfires is surveyed through case studies of the major scandals that impacted the Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and Trump administrations. The development of this form of scandal response has meaningful implications concerning the growth of presidential power and its impacts on the functioning of the U.S. political system and the quality of American democracy. Changes in partisanship, the media environment, and the public’s view of the presidency and government are topics covered in the book’s explanation of the trends in scandal responses.

About the authors

Richard Barberio is Associate Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York's College at Oneonta, USA. He writes widely and teaches on American political institutions and processes, and is the author of The Politics of Public Policy (2014). 

Reviews

“Usual ways in which American presidents have responded to scandals involve either denial or acquiescence. This timely book adds to our knowledge and interest about contemporary White House scandals by probing a third strategy—misdirection or creating a ‘backfire’—which can temporarily succeed even as it corrodes already vulnerable institutions within the U.S. political system. Though there may never be universal virtue, this tome is dangerously reassuring in conveying the message that there will always be vice.” 
Samuel B. Hoff, George Washington Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Delaware State University, USA
 “Richard Barberio has written a fast-paced and fascinating study of modern presidential scandals.  Stonewalling, pseudo-cooperation, and now misdirection, he demonstrates, are the main instruments in the tool-kit of scandal management by the White House. Case studies on Presidents Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and Trump explore the varieties of presidential scandals and their outcomes. The Trump case is the highlight of the book, as a wily and dishonest president employs misdirection—shifting blame to others—to survive two dangerous scandals in a row. In an era of fierce partisan polarization, in which scandals have come all too often to shadow presidents of both parties, Barberio has provided a valuable guide to these explosive events.” 
Bruce Miroff, Professor, University of Albany, State University of New York, USA
“If you believe that presidential scandals are too distinctive to bend to systematic analysis, this remarkable book will change your mind. Richard Barberio has furthered our understanding, not just of scandals, but of the modern presidency, including how presidents through ‘backfire’ and other strategies manage to contain the damage resulting from their misconduct. Presidents and Political Scandal belongs on the reading list of leaders, scholars, and citizens alike.” 
Thomas E. Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government & the Press, Harvard University, USA

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 48,14 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-45504-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 83,19 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-45503-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
Softcover 59,27 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-45506-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Presidents and Political Scandal
Book Subtitle
Managing Scandal in the Modern Era
Authors
Series Title
The Evolving American Presidency
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-45504-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-45504-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-45503-3
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-45506-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 173
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics