American Politics & Public Policy Workshop: Janna Rezaee (UC Berkeley), “Presidents’ Pursuit of Policy in the Executive Branch”

Event time: 
Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 4:00pm through 5:15pm
Event description: 

“Presidents’ Pursuit of Policy in the Executive Branch”

Janna Rezaee, Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science, University of California at Berkeley


Abstract: The relative power of the president has been increasing as Congress has become more polarized and less effective. I propose a new way of thinking about presidents pursuing policy in the executive branch: when presidents favor agency policymaking efforts, they strengthen those efforts; when they are against those efforts, they veto them. I formalize this notion in a simple theory that has broad implications for our understanding of the presidency. Using a new dataset that spans 1995-2014, I show evidence that presidents use one particular tool - centralized review carried out by the Offi[14]ce of Information and Regulatory Affairs - to strengthen agency policymaking they favor. In particular, I find that Presidents Clinton and Obama were disproportionately likely to review significant policies by more liberal agencies, whereas President George W. Bush was disproportionately likely to review significant policies by more conservative agencies.

Janna Rezaee is a Ph.D. candidate in the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include political accountability, law- and policymaking in American politics, and the increased power of the presidency, the courts, and state governments in a context in which Congress is gridlocked. Her dissertation focuses in particular on how presidents pursue policy in the executive branch given gridlock in Congress. She has received research support from the National Science Foundation and Berkeley Law Empirical Legal Studies. Janna Rezaee holds an M.P.P. from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she was a Dean’s Fellow, and a B.A in political science from Kalamazoo College, where she studied abroad at Chiang Mai University.

Co-sponsored by ISPS and CSAP and cross-listed with the Yale Department of Political Science American Politics Faculty Search.

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