Michael J. Glennon explores the transformation of the balance of powers and its agenda of creating checks and balances within government. His essay outlines the set of incentives that are deeply buried within the American political system and assesses the recent erosion of accountability and its consequences. Glennon’s essay mixes the lessons taken from his own early career experiences in the national security bureaucracy with his later reflections as a political theorist. Why does Madison’s theory of the equilibrium of power not work, he asks. For answers, he looks to the unique development of government, of political parties, and of the presidency itself.