The Obama Presidency: Politics, Policies, and Performance
Fourteen Northeastern students in a course called Political Science Senior Capstone spent the fall semester 2014 exploring various aspects of the presidency of Barack Obama. The works of scholars in the discipline’s subfields of American government and politics, presidency studies, public policy, public law, campaigns and elections, media and public opinion, international relations, and foreign policy were examined with the aim of discerning how political scientists today...
Table of Contents
II: Domestic Policy
III: Foreign Policy
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Fourteen Northeastern students in a course called Political Science Senior Capstone spent the fall semester 2014 exploring various aspects of the presidency of Barack Obama. The works of scholars in the discipline’s subfields of American government and politics, presidency studies, public policy, public law, campaigns and elections, media and public opinion, international relations, and foreign policy were examined with the aim of discerning how political scientists today approach and explain a wide variety of events and issues during President Obama’s first term and halfway through his second term in office. These students were then given an opportunity to contribute their own study focusing on topics related to the policies, politics and performance of the Obama presidency. The fruits of this research are collected here in this volume, edited by Caitlin Morelli and Federika Cariati, two students selected by their peers for this task.
I had the distinct pleasure of working with these students in this course. Throughout the semester, while the students researched and wrote their contributions to this edited volume, we tried to determine whether Barack Obama has been the ‘transformative’ president many Americans predicted he would be after his historic election in 2008. We asked ourselves the following questions: Has President Obama transformed American government and politics? If yes, then in what ways? If no, then why not? Since we examined and discussed many topics that were outside of my area of specialization, I must confess that there were times when the students probably had more insights and greater expertise on a subject than I did. I continue to be amazed by how much learning these students have gained during the short time they spent studying political science at Northeastern University.
The original works included in this edited volume were presented at a Conference on the Obama Presidency held at Northeastern University in late-November 2014. Special thanks to each student whose work is included in this edited volume assessing the policies, politics and performance of the Obama Presidency. They worked hard throughout the semester to understand more fully what might be the legacy of the president who was in office at the time they commenced their undergraduate studies in political science. These students were still in high school when Barack Obama was first elected president in November 2008 and they ‘came of age’ during the Obama years. It seems fitting for these soon-to-be graduated students to display what they have learned in this collection of scholarly works on the Obama Presidency.
Professor Michael Tolley