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Debates about presidential greatness have been with us for decades, facilitated in part by numerous systematic surveys of scholars with expertise in American history and politics. Nevertheless, the voice of political scientists in this debate has been relatively muted when compared particularly with the role that historians have had in making these determinations. This article introduces and assesses results of a recent effort to capture the attitudes of political science presidency experts about presidential greatness. By surveying the membership of the APSA Presidents and Executive Politics section, we could identify and then compare specifically the attitudes of political scientists against the growing body of ratings and rankings of a phenomenon with long-standing interest and importance.


The published title is “Presidential Greatness and Political Science: Assessing the 2014 APSA Presidents and Executive Politics Section Presidential Greatness Survey”.

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This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at PS: Political Science & Politics, published by Cambridge University Press. Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.1017/S1049096517000671