Eleventh Hour
The Politics of Policy Initiatives in Presidential Transitions
Presidential Studies - Political Science
6 x 9, 248 pp.
Table. 9 figures. Appendix. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 08/19/2013
Joseph V. Hughes Jr. and Holly O. Hughes Series on the Presidency and Leadership
  cloth
Price:        $40.00 s

978-1-60344-954-0
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2014 Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title

Eleventh Hour

The Politics of Policy Initiatives in Presidential Transitions

David M. Shafie

Pres. Jimmy Carter issued last-minute rules immediately before leaving the White House, creating frustration for the incoming Reagan Administration. As George W. Bush prepared to cede the Oval Office to Barack Obama almost three decades later, he ordered more than thirty last-minute policy changes, quickly finalizing the rules before the Obama Administration could overturn them.

Presidents are able to bypass Congress and quietly initiate significant policy changes by using the executive branch’s authority to alter existing statutes. In Eleventh Hour: The Politics of Policy Initiatives in Presidential Transitions, David M. Shafie analyzes how and why five successive presidents have done so at the end of their administrations, offering important new insights for the growing study of the administrative presidency.

After assessing transcripts of speeches and staff communications, such as memos from the White House Domestic Policy offices, memos from selected regulatory agencies and the Office of Management and Budget, as well as records in the Clinton, Reagan, George (H. W.) Bush, and Carter Presidential Libraries, Shafie also conducted in-depth interviews with administration personnel charged with formulating and implementing the executive rule changes. Based on his research, Shafie explains end-of-term rulemaking as an instrument of presidential prerogative power by mapping its evolution through five recent presidential transitions and exploring its effectiveness, consequences, and implications.

Giving consideration to recent efforts to limit interregnum rulemaking and to overturn specific late-term rules, as well as evaluating the prospects for future presidents to favor this instrument to advance their unfinished domestic policy priorities, Eleventh Hour offers groundbreaking research into the uses of executive power.

DAVID M. SHAFIE, an assistant professor of political science at Chapman University in Orange, California, is coauthor of Rethinking California: Politics and Policy in the Golden State. He also writes extensively on environmental politics and policy. He holds a doctorate from the University of Southern California.

What Readers Are Saying:

"This book represents an outstanding addition to the continuously evolving literature on presidential leadership and decision making. Professor Shafie provides an insightful analysis of executive rulemaking that takes place at the end of a president's term and investigates the consequences of such policymaking. The book will be of great interest to both students and scholars who study the presidency."--Sheldon Kamieniecki, dean, Division of Social Sciences, and professor, Environmental Studies Department, University of California, Santa Cruz

Eleventh Hour is a valuable, timely book that offers an in-depth case study-driven explanation of how presidents have used the rule-making process to advance their domestic agendas, even as they are departing from office.  Shafie concludes that not only is last minute rule-making the new norm, it actually makes strategic sense for presidents to use the process this way because many rules prove to be ‘resistant to removal.’ Engaging and well written, the Eleventh Hour is essential reading for students and scholars interested in the presidency and policy making in an era of divided government and legislative stalemate.”--DeLysa Burnier, Professor of Political Science, Ohio University



“This book does a masterful job of telling the tale of the hidden administrative power presidents wield in creating their legacies.  Shafie’s analysis is crisp and persuasive, supplemented with enjoyable anecdotes.  This book brings presidential policymaking to life, shedding light on important aspects that have been previously ignored.  Eleventh Hour is a must for anyone interested in how presidents can leave their mark in our era of congressional gridlock and hyper-partisanship.”—Todd Belt, associate professor and chair, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii at Hilo


Eleventh Hour is a significant contribution to at least two scholarly literatures: works on presidential control of the executive branch, and analyses of presidential transitions. Scholars focusing on the separation of powers will also find much of the interest in the book.” — American University Library

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