Presidents and Terminal Logic Behavior
Publication Date 2 Apr 2014
OverviewPresidents of nations with constitutionally imposed term limits are often viewed as growing weaker as they approach the end of their time in office. However, in this important new study, political scientist Genevieve M. Kehoe argues that because such chief executives are free from reelection constraint and often still enthusiastic to create a legacy by pursuing bold projects, they may accomplish significant initiatives. Kehoe has developed a concept for this which she calls “Terminal Logic Behavior” (TLB).
Presidents and Terminal Logic Behavior: Term Limits and Executive Action in the United States, Brazil, and Argentina provides both case studies and quantitative evidence to show how US presidents of the last three decades have utilized decrees on foreign, domestic, and environment policy during their final months in office. She finds a systematic pattern of decree use consistent with the mark of TLB in a most unexpected place—presidents’ use of national emergency powers. In a careful comparative analysis, she also finds support for her argument in the Argentinean and Brazilian experience of the same period.