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Political Leadership
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Political Leadership

9781840640595 Edward Elgar Publishing
Howard Elcock, former Professor of Government and Honorary Research Fellow, Northumbria University at Newcastle, UK
Publication Date: 2001 ISBN: 978 1 84064 059 5 Extent: 232 pp
Political leadership is a concept central to understanding political processes and outcomes, yet its definition is elusive. Many disciplines have contributed to the study of leadership, including political theory, history, psychology and management studies. Political Leadership reviews the contributions of these disciplines along with a discussion of the work of classic authors such as Niccolo Machiavelli, Max Weber and Robert Michels.

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Contents
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Political leadership is a concept central to understanding political processes and outcomes, yet its definition is elusive. Many disciplines have contributed to the study of leadership, including political theory, history, psychology and management studies. Political Leadership reviews the contributions of these disciplines along with a discussion of the work of classic authors such as Niccolo Machiavelli, Max Weber and Robert Michels.

Howard Elcock develops an account of the various governing, governance and allegiance roles political leaders play and discusses the devices by which their ability to lead effectively can be improved. He examines the processes of uncertainty reduction, increasing creativity and facilitation of collective learning. He concludes that the preoccupation with ‘new public management’ over the last twenty years has caused fundamental debates about political and social values to be neglected. Only a new focus on leaders and leadership, he argues, can correct this problem and provide guidance for politicians and officials in a world of increasingly rapid and unpredictable change.

As an eminently readable book, this will be welcomed by scholars of political science and history, public administration and management as well as anyone involved, or with an interest, in politics and government.
Critical Acclaim
‘. . . a fine analysis and a mine of information that should be in all libraries, particularly on booklists on leadership. . .’
– John Gaffney, Regional and Federal Studies

‘Howard Elcock’s book is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read. It provides an eclectic and wide-ranging review of the voluminous literature on leadership . . . there is much to commend in this book. The writing style is accessible and academically unpretentious. His breadth and depth of knowledge of political leadership in different countries (in particular Britain, USA, Germany) provides the basis for a richness and variety of examples . . . The book is recommended reading for anyone who is interested in political leadership . . . a topical and well-informed synthesis of the literature.’
– Steve Leach, Local Government Studies

‘In this volume Elcock offers both a systematic analysis of leadership and reflections informed by his considerable experience as scholar and participant in the realms of British and comparative local government. . . . Students and practitioners whether elected politicos or professional administrators can benefit from his wide-ranging scholarship and wise counsel. Academics interested in political leadership will find the literature reviews valuable and enjoy the author’s opinion on a variety of topics, among them his disdain for "spin doctors" and for rational choice theories of politics.’
– Richard Flickinger, British Politics Group Newsletter
Contents
Contents: Preface Part I: Theories of Leadership 1. Why is Leadership Important? 2. Some Classic Analyses of Political Leadership 3. The Personalities and Environments of Political Leaders 4. Leadership, Administration and Management 5. The Psychology of Leadership Part II: Leadership Roles 6. The Functions of Leadership: Governing Roles 7. The Functions of Leadership: Governance and Allegiance Roles 8. The Apparatus of Leadership 9. Case Study: Leadership in British Local Government 10. Setting the Course: Leadership, Not Management Bibliography Index

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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eISBN: 978 1 84376 288 1
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