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"This chapter provides an overview of presidential studies and the current state of presidency research. Having a better understanding of topics such as the different eras usually associated with the presidency and the methods of study used by presidency scholars can aid students in learning about the various facets of the institution of the presidency as well as those who have held the office. This chapter considers the general categories used to organize presidents and their presidencies by historical eras, which provides a sense of how the institution itself, along with the day-to-day job responsibilities of the president, has evolved throughout U.S. history. Next, the state of presidency research is considered, including how the various 8 methodological tools now available to presidency scholars have greatly expanded our understanding of presidents as political actors and the presidency as a political institution. Finally, the plan of the book explains how the essays in this volume illustrate the new and emerging trends within presidential studies and how that research provides both a guide and a basis for analysis of the presidency for students. If the 2020 presidential election, the presidential transition, and the early months of the Biden administration show us nothing else, it is that the presidency continues to challenge the conventional wisdom of presidency scholars while forging new areas of research and exploration."



Publication Date





New York, NY


presidential studies, American presidents, American politics


American Politics


In Lori Cox Han (Ed.), New Directions in the American Presidency, third edition.

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.


Taylor & Francis

Introduction: Studying Presidents and the Presidency