Directing the Whirlwind: Deconstruction, Distrust, and the Future of American Democracy


History & Political Science

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Peter Lang

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Donald J. Trump ran on a platform that, among other things, promised to "drain the swamp" that is Washington, DC. Part of that draining would entail what his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, would call "the deconstruction of the administrative state." Set in the political environment of 2020, with a raging pandemic and nationwide protests, this work examines the philosophy that guides the Trump Administration’s approach and the mechanisms by which it seeks to accomplish the deconstruction. By combining journalistic accounts with presidential and public administration scholarship, the book raises questions about the impact of Trump’s approach on the future of public administration. As such, this work makes a strong contribution to public administration and presidential studies and casts a scholarly light on treatments of Trump’s contribution to governance and politics. This new edition brings the narrative up to date and speculates about the future of the administrative state and our democracy in the aftermath of January 6th under the new Biden Administration and future presidents.