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Treaty Politics and the Rise of Executive Agreements: International Commitments in a System of Shared PowersGlen S. Krutz and Jeffrey S. Peake 2009
---Victoria Farrar-Myers, University of Texas, Arlington
"From reading Treaty Politics and the Rise of Executive Agreements, I learned a good deal about a topic that I thought I knew well. This book will be an excellent addition to the literature on the presidency. It will be read and cited by scholars working in this field."
---Benjamin Ginsberg, Johns Hopkins University
"Glen Krutz and Jeffrey Peake's Treaty Politics and the Rise of Executive Agreements offers a provocative analysis of a neglected topic. Their theoretical and empirical challenge to the usual explanation for the growth of executive agreements, their careful analysis of the treaty process in the Senate and when that body can be decisive, and their assessment of the House of Representatives' role in the agreement process provide important new scholarship for students of the presidency, Congress, and foreign policy."
---James M. McCormick, Iowa State University
In foreign relations, U.S. presidents have exercised a growing independence through the use of executive agreements. The U.S. Constitution specifies that two-thirds of the Senate must ratify a proposed treaty but makes no provision for other forms of international agreements. In 1942 the Supreme Court affirmed the legality of executive agreements, and since World War II, they have outnumbered treaties by more than ten to one. Are presidents trampling the Constitution or seeking to streamline the diplomatic process?
Glen S. Krutz and Jeffrey S. Peake argue that the preference for executive agreements is the result of a symbiotic evolution of the executive and the legislative branches and that in order for the United States to survive in a complex, ever-changing global environment and maintain its world power status, it must fulfill international commitments swiftly and confidently. Members of Congress concur that executive agreements allow each branch to function more effectively. At the same time, the House continues to oversee particular policy areas, and presidents still submit the majority of the most significant international commitments to the Senate as treaties.
Krutz and Peake conclude that executive agreements represent a mutual adaptation of the executive and the legislature in a system of shared power.
Glen S. Krutz is Associate Director of the Carl Albert Center and Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma.
Jeffrey S. Peake is Professor and Department Chair, Department of Political Science at Clemson University.