The Politics of the U.S. Cabinet

Representation in the Executive Branch, 1789-1984

Jeffrey Cohen has written a tightly constructed, carefully argued, methodologically sophisticated, and historically grounded study of an important U.S. political institution. . . . The Politics of the U.S. Cabinet is a significant work of original research that will be frequently cited in any future studies of U.S. executive organization.
American Political Science Review

Jeffrey E. Cohen presents a detailed, quantitative study of the characteristics of presidential cabinets from the days of George Washington through the first Reagan administration. Dividing U.S. history into five party eras, he examines cabinet members' age, education, region, occupation, recruitment patterns, party affiliations, and relations with other branches and institutions of government. This study also addresses major theoretical issues: the Constitution never provided for a cabinet, although George Washington established it. Questions soon arose as to its functions, relation to Congress, and the rules and precedents guiding its activities. Cohen examines how the cabinet balanced representation and capability, and how, despite a lack of institutional authority, it has managed to survive through every administration.

208 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

November, 1988

isbn : 9780822985099

about the author

Jeffrey E. Cohen

Jeffrey E. Cohen is chair of the Department of political science at Fordham University.

learn more
Jeffrey E. Cohen