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Improving Skills to Build Leadership Capital. The Case of Italian Presidents

Elites
European Politics
Media
Political Leadership
Selena Grimaldi
Department of Political Science, Law, and International Studies, University of Padova
Selena Grimaldi
Department of Political Science, Law, and International Studies, University of Padova

Abstract

Starting from the concept of Leadership Capital the aim of the paper is to understand how Italian Presidents gain credibility, becoming sort of a "temporary first in command". In particular, this paper deals with their communication capacities and with their political and policy vision, namely with one of the three dimensions which comprise the LC: the presidential soft skills. The main hypothesis is that presidents’ credibility is based on their soft skills and, in particular, on their capacity to become visible actors in the political scene -notwithstanding the fact they are elected indirectly and their relationship with citizen is built only after winning the office- and on their vision, namely the capacity to address people’s problems, while reminding the political class what are the issues to fulfill. The research applies both qualitative and quantitative techniques and it is based on two data sources: Presidents' speeches and their appearance on publicTV.