Professional Reputation and the Neustadt Formulation



    1. Professor emeritus of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His most recent books are Clinton and Congress: Risk, Restoration, and Reelection and, as editor, Preparing to Be President: The Memos of Richard E. Neustadt.
    Search for more papers by this author

  • AUTHOR'S NOTE: This article was originally presented as a paper at a conference, Presidential Power Revisited, at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, June 13, 1996. Permission by the Center to publish a revised version of the paper as an article is gratefully acknowledged.


This article was written for a conference at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The purpose was to acknowledge the impact of Richard E. Neustadt's Presidential Power, first published in 1960. The article explores the concept of professional reputation, so vital to Neustadt's perspective on presidential power. Neustadt's formulation is presented as a series of propositions so as to encourage empirical research. It is then proposed that these propositions be tested with regard to statute making. A locator matrix is offered for designating research topics. Professional reputation continues to have substantial potential for contributing to our understanding of the presidency in the separated system. The original formulation has been with us now for forty years. We are beyond the time, but not the need, for it to have been systematically studied and applied.