This class explores the origins, development, and power of the American presidency within the American political system, and as a defining national political institution. The course begins with the philosophical and structural debates over executive leadership in the early American republic before moving towards the development of presidential power. We will examine the debates over questions of the presidency’s place within the American constitutional system, US foreign policy, as well as its normative relationship to democratic values. The course takes a developmental approach to its subject, while also exploring a number of important theories within the discipline of political science concerning the nature of the presidency. We will also focus on a number of case studies in presidential leadership and historic controversies related to the office and its occupants.