Political Leadership, Parties and Citizens: The Personalisation of Leadership

Front Cover
Jean Blondel
Routledge, 2010 - Political Science - 292 pages

Social structure may historically have been of primary importance in accounting for the attitudes and behaviour of many citizens, but now changes in social structure have diminished the role played by class and religious affiliation, whilst the significance of personality in political leadership has increased.† This volume explores, both theoretically and empirically, the increasingly important role played by the personalisation of leadership. Acknowledging the part played by social cleavages, it focuses on the personal relationships and psychological dimension between citizens and political leaders. It begins by examining the changes which have taken place in the relationship among citizens, the parties which they support and the leaders of these parties in a European context. The authors then assess how far the phenomena of ‚e~personalised leadership‚e(tm) differ from country to country, and the forms which these differences take. The book includes comparative case studies on Britain and Northern Ireland, France, Italy, Poland, Japan and Thailand; it concentrates on eleven prominent leaders epitomising personalised political leadership: Thatcher, Blair, Mitterand, Chirac, Le Pen, Berlusconi, Bossi, Walesa, Lepper, Koizumi and Thaksin. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, comparative politics and political leadership.

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About the author (2010)

Jean Blondel was Professor and is now Professorial Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at European University Institute, Italy. He founded the Department of Government at the University of Essex in 1964 and co-founded the European Consortium of Political Research. His many publications include (as co-editor) The Nature of Party Government: a comparative European perspective; Cabinets in Eastern Europe; and (as co-author) Political Cultures in Asia and Europe (also published by Routledge). Jean-Louis Thiebault is Professor Emeritus and former director of the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Lille, France. He is a member of the editorial board of the European Journal of Political Research. His many publications include (as co-editor with Jean Blondel) The Profession of Government Minister in Western Europe.

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