Daemen Professor Authors Trump Book

By | October 24, 2020

Dr. Lisa Parshall, professor of political science at Daemen College, has co-authored a book on President Donald Trump that examines his approach to “deconstructing the administrative state” and its impact on the future of public administration.

“Directing the Whirlwind: The Trump Presidency and the Deconstruction of the Administrative State” is set in the political environment of 2020, a time when the country is facing the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide protests due to racial unrest. The book, which is co-authored by Dr. Jim Twombly, professor of political science at Elmira College, provides a scholarly look at how the Trump Administration has challenged presidential and administrative norms.

“This book looks at Trump’s approach to federal bureaucracy and governance – the ways in which he has engaged in normal administrative politics and the ways in which his agenda of deconstruction is exceptional,” said Parshall. “Trump’s presidency has had consequences on our federal bureaucracy through his use of executive orders, the power of appointment and staffing, efforts to reorganize, and rhetorical attacks on the legitimacy of administrative authority and actors.”

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the impact of Trump’s agenda of deconstruction, including failures in the federal response and escalating tensions with the states on the front-line of the crisis, noted Parshall. “Presidents need administrative expertise in responding to crises. Trump’s assault on the administrative state has arguably impaired his ability to respond to the pandemic and has contributed to the perceptions of a chaotic presidency,” said Parshall.

The title for the book is a nod to Alexander Hamilton, a proponent of a strong executive but who, in defense of Washington’s polices, famously warned that “those who invoke popular passion with the purpose of embarrassing the general government, may be suspected of throwing things into confusion” so that he may “ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.” Trump’s managerial style and anti-administrative agenda has posed a challenge for scholars seeking to evaluate his impact on public administration.

With Election Day less than two weeks away, Parshall said, “Trump’s administrative politics should be an important consideration for all voters.”

To learn more about the book, which is anticipated to be released on Oct. 30, visit https://www.peterlang.com/view/title/72516.

Parshall is a public policy fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, a key votes advisor in New York State for Vote Smart, a Fulbright senior specialist, and president of the Northeast Political Science Association. She is frequently interviewed for her expertise on public policy, public administration, and presidential election, including The Policy Outsider.