1st Edition

The Administrative Presidency and the Environment Policy Leadership and Retrenchment from Clinton to Trump

By David M. Shafie Copyright 2020
    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    The growth of the administrative state and legislative gridlock has placed the White House at the center of environmental policymaking. Every recent president has continued the trend of relying upon administrative tools and unilateral actions to either advance or roll back environmental protection policies. From natural resources to climate change and pollution control, presidents have more been willing to test the limits of their authority, and the role of Congress has been one of reacting to presidential initiatives.

    In The Administrative Presidency and the Environment: Policy Leadership and Retrenchment from Clinton to Trump, David M. Shafie draws upon staff communications, speeches and other primary sources. Key features include detailed case studies in public land management, water quality, toxics, and climate policy, with particular attention to the role of science in decisionmaking. Finally, he identifies the techniques from previous administrations that made Trump’s administrative presidency possible.

    Shafie’s combination of qualitative analysis and topical case studies offers advanced undergraduate students and researchers alike important insights for understanding the interactions between environmental groups and the executive branch as well as implications for future policymaking.

    1. Environmental Policy Gridlock

    2. Greening the Administration

    3. Managing the Commons

    4. Water Quality

    5. Toxic Communities

    6. Climate Change

    7. Conclusion: Progress and Retrenchment


    David M. Shafie is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Chapman University.

    "Shafie’s Presidential Administration and the Environment is a welcome addition to the literature. It offers keen insight into the exceptional role of the presidency in shaping U.S. environmental policy, and with its focus on the Trump administration, it brings much-needed critical evaluation of how the administrative presidency can reshape core environmental policies even without passage of new legislation."Michael Kraft, Professor Emeritus, Political Science and Public and Environmental Affairs, and Herbert Fisk Johnson Professor of Environmental Studies Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

    Never before has the discussion on environmental policy been more important. The unambiguous and global evidence on climate change, populist backlash in key liberal democracies, and rising disagreement over what constitutes basic facts demonstrate that our ability to resolve environmental is seriously limited. The Administrative Presidency and the Environment: Policy Leadership and Retrenchment from Clinton to Trump provides a roadmap of how we have reached this point, and by extension, a map forward. Shafie’s analysis of the growth of the administrative presidency replacing statutory progress with regulatory efforts — causing instability in environmental protection as administrations flip between political parties — is an important foundation in understanding environmental policy making in the United States. Shafie‘s detailed assessment of these dynamics is a valuable resource for scholars of environmental policy as well as those for whom this book is a first read on environmental issues. The book provides constructive case studies of critical environmental areas — from public lands to climate change. Matthew A. Cahn, Vice Provost, California State University Northridge

    "David Shafie offers an especially useful analysis of how recent American Presidents from Clinton through Trump have used executive authority to expand or reduce the scope of environmental policymaking. His discussion of substantive policy cases dealing with natural resources, pollution control and climate change reveals that key decisions are increasingly made by chief executives rather than legislators thanks to their ability to apply various approaches such as rulemaking, appointments, discretionary judgments, and budgetary priorities."Charles Davis, Colorado State University