Critical Thinking on Mathew Dickson’s Article Neustadt writes extensively on the revolution of the presidential system. This article by Mathew Dickson is a reflection of the teachings of Neustadt on information gathering by the presidency…
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According to Neustadt, the presidency is an institution, and therefore the main tenet of institutionalism is a focus on the office of the presidency, as opposed to the person occupying the office of the presidency (Dickson, 260). In as much as Dickson (278) agrees with this notion that the presidency is an institution, he doesn’t denote that there are other factors that might influence an individual who hold an office, apart from the rules that guide the operations of the presidency. These factors are the inter-personal factors of the leader, which might include their academic levels, childhood experiences, religious believes, etc. On this basis, Neustadt has some bias in his study of the presidency, by insisting that it is the rules that guide the office which affect the manner in which an individual operates. Dickson (261) recognizes the immense role that Neustadt has played in the advancement of the studies involving the presidency. This is because other scholars borrowed from the tenets of institutionalism to develop other theories of the presidency. The theory under consideration is the new institutional theory. Dickson (260) argues that due to the inefficiencies of institutionalism, other theorists developed the new institutional theory for purposes of guiding the presidency, in their attempt to collect information, for bargaining purposes. However, Dickson (287) is quick to denote that new institutional theory has failed to help the presidency in acquiring information that can be used for bargaining purposes. This is because new institutionalism has failed to develop efficient and proper channels in which the office of the presidency can follow for purposes of collecting information to use for bargaining. Dickson (260) therefore prefers older channels of presidential communication, as opposed to the newer methods of presidential control. For instance, Dickson advocates for institutionalism theory, as opposed to new institutional theories of the presidency. This is despite the failure of new institutional theory to factor in the cognitive and personality of the leader in their decision making process. However, in explaining in his points, Dickson goes back to history, and analyzes the presidency of Roosevelt, Lyndon’s presidency, etc. Dickson (266) argues that institutional theory arose out of the need of the presidency to acquire information, and use that information for bargaining purposes. Access of accurate information is a very valuable tool for any leader. The manner in which a leader acquires and disseminates information is a crucial factor on whether he or she will succeed during their presidency. Neustadt knew of the value of information, and he thus developed his ideas based on the desire to develop an efficient method in which the aides of a president can help him or her to acquire the necessary information for bargaining purposes (p. 277). This article manages to use relevant examples in articulating the various points contained in it. For example, Dickson (262) manages to explain the various bureaucratic processes that occur at white house. This is in regard to acquisition of information, and its subsequent dissemination. For example, he denotes that when Roosevelt took the office of the presidency, he managed to create an office referred to as the executive office of the presidency (Dickson, 262). This office was responsible for personnel, policy planning and budgeting. He manages to effectively compare the
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