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Political Leadership

An Introduction

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Red Globe Press

Pages: 306
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Paperback - 9781352007725

27 November 2020

$49.99

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Hardcover - 9781352011319

27 November 2020

$110.99

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Ebook - 9781352007732

27 November 2020

$39.99

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Drawing upon a diverse range of traditions and contexts, this authoritative new textbook presents a systematic introduction to political leadership. Making extensive use of examples of real leaders from a variety of cultural...

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Drawing upon a diverse range of traditions and contexts, this authoritative new textbook presents a systematic introduction to political leadership. Making extensive use of examples of real leaders from a variety of cultural backgrounds, the book links theoretical ideas and concepts to real-world political leadership and in doing so helps students to make sense of why different leaders lead as they do and why people choose to follow them.

This is ideal reading for students taking courses on political leadership and related topics.


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  • Is the most comprehensive single-volume introduction to leadership on the market, covering a wide range of topics across the theory and practice of political leadership.  
  • Is designed to provide an accessible, thought-provoking, and broad grounding introduction in the key ideas of political leadership studies for students and practitioners alike. 
  • Responds to a growing interest in leadership within political science studies.
  • Makes extensive use of examples of real leaders, both modern and historical, and how relevant ideas and concepts can be used to understand different aspects of their leadership.

1. Introduction and Key Concepts
2. Power, Authority, Followers and Elites
3. Philosophy, Legitimacy and Morality
4. Democrats and Dictators
5. Biology, Anthropology, Gender
6. Psychology, Personality, Biography
7. Context, History and Institutions
8. Decisions, Policy and Advice. 9. Rhetoric, Persuasion and Negotiation
10. Contemporary Trends and Challenges.
Political leadership is an enduringly fascinating subject that somehow evades the grasp of normal political science. This book is at once compact, comprehensive and highly accessible. Enlivened and illustrated with practical cases, it provides a valuable introductory text that can also be read with profit by anyone interested in leadership. - John Kane, Griffith University, Australia
This book is an excellent addition to the complex and often disparate field of political leadership. Students and researchers will benefit from the expert way Matthew Laing has synthesised a vast array of theories and approaches into a really accessible and informative book. When political leadership is rightly under great scrutiny, this is a very welcome and timely introductory publication. - Mark Bennister, University of Lincoln, UK
Laing provides clarity and direction to the study of political leadership. He completes his systematic analysis of the field’s most important topics with informative and attention-grabbing case studies. This textbook will be a benefit in the classroom for both students and professors. - Scott Cook, Longwood University, USA
This is a valuable new contribution to leadership studies. Clearly written and approachable, its great virtue is its synoptic approach, exploring the psychological, moral, and institutional dimensions of political leadership and above all the formidable challenge of good leadership in modern democracies. - Haig Patapan, Griffith University, Australia
Political Leadership is a great and much needed contribution to the field. This comprehensive book discusses the art of political leadership from different disciplinary perspectives and covers the various roles political leaders fulfil, making it a great textbook for introductory and advanced courses on the topic. Sensitive to the current times, it also, and quite uniquely, covers both democratic and autocratic leadership in one book. - Femke van Esch, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
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Matthew Laing is an adjunct lecturer in political science at Monash University in Melbourne. He received his PhD from the Australian National University, and has worked in the study and teaching of leadership in a variety of contexts, including Monash University, the National Police of the Netherlands, Boston College and in a consulting capacity to several state and local governments. 

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Matthew Laing is an adjunct lecturer in political science at Monash University in Melbourne. He received his PhD from the Australian National University, and has worked in the study and teaching of leadership in a variety of contexts, including Monash University, the National Police of the Netherlands, Boston College and in a consulting capacity to several state and local governments. 

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