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Reagan, Bush, and Right-Wing Politics: Elites, Think Tanks, Power and Policy


  • Philip H. Burch

    (Rutgers University)


In this multi-volume work the author, a Rutgers University professor, argues that organized right-wing interests, sometimes called the Counter-Establishment, rose to power during the Reagan and first Bush years, and exerted great influence in these two administrations, particularly the former. [Volume A] In the first volume on "key executive appointments", Burch takes a close look at the economic background and think-tank ties of many of the people appointed to high posts in these rightist regimes, men connected to some part of America's new Counter-Establishment, a complex headed by such groups as the American Enterprise Institute, the Committee on the Present Danger, the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution, the Institute for Contemporary Studies, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, and the (Joseph Coors-backed) Mountain States Legal Foundation. This skewed recruitment pattern also held true for many of the second- and third-tier posts in the Reagan's administration and, to a lesser extent, Bush's. [Volume B] In the second volume on "Supreme Court nominations and major policy making", Burch found the connections to right-wing think tanks, not only for the Court but also in such important fields as foreign policy, military spending, and economics and taxation. He also presents detailed case studies of the political and economic forces at work in the Iran-Contra affair, the Star Wars program, and Reaganomics. These volumes provide a rich source of information which would enable any reader or researcher to make a compartive analysis of the make-up and operation of the second Bush administration.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip H. Burch, 1997. "Reagan, Bush, and Right-Wing Politics: Elites, Think Tanks, Power and Policy," RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY, Paul Zarembka, volume 0, number burch, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:rpe:volume:burch

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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Komlos John, 2019. "Reaganomics: A Watershed Moment on the Road to Trumpism," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 1-21, December.
    2. John Komlos, 2019. "Reaganomics: una línea divisoria," Tiempo y Economía, Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano, vol. 6(1), pages 47-76, February.

    More about this item


    Reagan; Bush; right wing; executive branch; think tanks; Supreme Court;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Modern Monetary Theory;
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law


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