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The Masks of the Political God by Luca Ozzano

Leadership and Complexity: The Contemporary Challenge?

Comparative Politics
 
Executives
 
Government
 
Political Leadership
 
Presenter
James Walter
Politics Discipline, School of Social Sciences, Monash University
Authors
James Walter
Politics Discipline, School of Social Sciences, Monash University

Abstract
The extent to which personalization, mediatization and party decline have promoted contemporary leader centrality is vigorously debated. In parallel, some argue, turbo-capitalism, globalisation and their endemic crises have led to the proliferation of 'wicked' policy problems. Ensuing patterns of leadership and of policy deliberation thus demand sophisticated analytical tools, such as complexity theory. Are such claims empirically grounded? This paper adopts a comparative, historical case-study approach--looking at specific cases of dominant prime-ministers and their approaches to policy challenges in the 1980s and the recent past. It asks how much has changed; whether the leadership task now presents unprecedented demands and/or unparalleled degrees of complexity; and to what extent innovations in social science help us to address such questions.



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