Share this

Presidents and Terminal Logic Behavior: Term Limits and Executive Action in the United States, Brazil, and Argentina, Genevieve M. Kehoe

Reviewed by Jeff Cummins



President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration that granted temporary legal status to an estimated five million undocumented immigrants set off a heated debate about the use (and potential abuse) of executive action. The announcement came on the heels of a stinging electoral defeat for Democrats in which Republicans padded their majority in the House and took control of the Senate. Confronting an unlikely compromise on immigration legislation in Congress before he leaves office, Obama turned to his unilateral authority to ensure a significant policy accomplishment. Although it was completed before Obama’s announcement, Genevieve M. Kehoe’s book offers much insight into the motivations behind Obama’sactions and those of previous presidents, American and otherwise.

Kehoe seeks to challenge the conventional wisdom that presidents are rendered lame ducks near the end of their tenures in office and effectively become unproductive policymakers. She points out that, “Indeed, there is no scholarly consensus that the lame duck status exists at all” (p. 27). Instead, she argues that as presidents reach the end of their time in office, their motivations change from concerns about survival (reelection) to legacy. To bolster their legacies, presidents turn to their “proactive powers” by increasing their reliance

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

North Korea and the West

The Debate over North Korea


Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

New APS Book

Continuing Issues in U.S. National Security Policy   CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS