Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush: Faith, Foreign Policy, and an Evangelical Presidential Style

D. Jason Berggren, Nicol C. Rae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this article, we argue that Presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush share a distinctive approach to politics and governing: an “evangelical” style of presidential leadership. Though they differed in terms of party and ideology, we claim, using examples from their foreign policies, that the evangelical faith of Carter and Bush provided them with a particular vision of the presidency and the global role of the United States. Richard Neustadt argued that aptitude for politics is the most essential attribute for contemporary presidential success and that the evangelical approach will inevitably lead to political failure. From our analysis of the Carter and Bush approaches to foreign policy, we conclude, however, that in certain circumstances, the evangelical style can contribute to successful presidential leadership and is worthy of further serious study by presidential scholars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-632
Number of pages27
JournalPresidential Studies Quarterly
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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