The Imperial President? President Obama's use of Executive Power Compared to Other Modern Presidents

Wiles, Sam
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Delaware
President Obama’s use of unilateral executive power during his presidency has evoked fears that he is becoming an overreaching or imperial president. But presidents for decades have been avid users of executive power, so this thesis discusses whether President Obama’s use of executive power is greater than that of any other modern president across certain categories. For the purposes of my research I broke executive power into three sections; executive orders, executive privilege, and military action. I chose these categories because of their current newsworthiness, their prominence in presidential history, and because they represent actions initiated directly by the president. I hypothesized that President Obama does not use these powers to an extent much greater than previous presidents, but also no less. I found that overall President Obama is not much different from previous presidents in his use of executive power. However, while his actions are similar to previous presidents, he has carved out areas for future presidents to further expand executive power.
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Political science