Tough Times for the President

by Andrea Speros, Public Relations Writer

Jewerl Maxwell, Ph.D., associate dean of the center for lifelong learning and assistant professor of political science at Cedarville University, co-authored “Tough Times for the President: Political Adversity and the Sources of Executive Power” with professor, author and presidency scholar Ryan J. Barilleaux.

Barilleaux is the Paul Rejai professor of political science at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and is the author or editor of nine books and over 30 articles and book chapters on the presidency and other political topics. The co-authors first met when Maxwell studied under Barilleaux at Miami University.

According to Maxwell, the book is a significant work in its field because it establishes a new idea of presidential power. The idea initially began as a conference paper in 2006 under a collaboration with Maxwell, Barilleaux and a fellow student. Positive reviews of the paper and its establishment of a new understanding of executive power encouraged both Maxwell and Barilleaux to continue research and write the book together.

“Tough Times for the President” examines 11 case studies of the 10 post-World War II presidents and their execution of power in adverse circumstances. This book broadens the interpretation of presidential power and analyzes the limits, opportunities and circumstances chief executives face as they govern the nation.

The book challenges foundational work on the presidency and ultimately suggests presidential power is based on “situational leverage” and not persuasive power as noted by established presidency scholars.

Maxwell says his research is significant for both Cedarville University and the history and government department. “Now, not only do others around the country have access to this new understanding of presidential power, but we as professors are establishing ourselves in the field,” Maxwell said. “We’re staying active with research, coming to our own conclusions, and hopefully bringing that to the classroom as well.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at