Leadership and Legacy

The Presidency of Barack Obama

Edited by Tom Lansford, Douglas M. Brattebo, Robert P. Watson, and Casey Maugh Funderburk

Subjects: Presidency, The, Political Science, American Government, American History
Series: SUNY series on the Presidency: Contemporary Issues
Paperback : 9781438481869, 364 pages, July 2021
Hardcover : 9781438481876, 364 pages, February 2021

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Table of contents

Introduction: Their Place in History
Robert P. Watson

Part I: Executive, Administrative, and Party Leadership

1. The Vice Presidency of Joe Biden
Richard M. Yon, Michael J. Ferro, and Jeremy Hunt

2. The Evolving Political Partnership of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton
Douglas M. Brattebo

3. Barack Obama's Executive Orders
Raymond Frey

4. Obama, Party Leadership, and Domestic Elections
Tom Lansford

5. Michelle Obama's First Ladyship
Elizabeth J. Natalle

Part II: Domestic Policy

6. Obama, Economic Recovery and Macroeconomic Policy
Paul Burton and Joseph J. St. Marie

7. The Affordable Care Act: Obama and the ACA—Innovation by Tradition
Max J. Skidmore

8. Obama and the Supreme Court
Sean J. Savage

9. Obama and Congress
Sean D. Foreman

10. The Obama Administration's Approach to Disaster Response and Recovery
David Harms Holt and Casey Maugh Funderburk

Part III: Foreign and Security Policy

11. Obama and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
Robert J. Pauly Jr.

12. The Arab Spring and the Middle East
Wayne F. Lesperance Jr. and John M. Callahan

13. Obama's Leadership in Addressing Climate Change
Wayne Law, Alanna Lecher, Jonathan Smith, and April Watson

14. China, Russia, and U.S. Primacy in World Affairs
William Keeton

Part IV: Conclusion

15. Barack Obama: The Post-Presidency
Michael J. Devine

Appendix A: Grading President Obama

Appendix B: Barack Obama Biography

Appendix C: The Obama Administration

Select Bibliography
About the Editors
About the Contributors

Applies a variety of scholarly approaches to analyze the long-term impact of President Obama as a leader and policymaker.


Historic, intriguing, and important in so many ways, the Obama presidency will be studied by scholars and students for years to come. With the rise in hyperpartisanship, legislative gridlock, political dysfunction, "fake news," and other negative trends, it is imperative that academicians weigh in with a rigorous assessment of Obama's presidency. This volume applies a variety of scholarly approaches to analyze the impact of Obama as a leader and policymaker. Scholars from disciplines such as political science, history, environmental science, economics, and communication come together to provide an interdisciplinary and wide-ranging appraisal of the president. Across the varied chapters, Obama's leadership is central to understanding the success or failure of his policies and initiatives. The president's decisions and actions are also assessed against the constraints and possibilities created by the modern US political system, rapid changes in technology and society, and shifting patterns in international relations. The result is a book that covers executive leadership, administration, domestic issues, foreign and national security policy, and more, to present a comprehensive review of the Obama legacy.

Tom Lansford is Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern Mississippi. Douglas M. Brattebo is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the James A. Garfield Center for the Study of the Presidency at Hiram College. Robert P. Watson is Distinguished Professor of American History and Director of Project Civitas at Lynn University. Casey Maugh Funderburk is Vice Provost, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Associate Director of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Director of the Speaking and Writing Center at the University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast.