Despite its recognized significance in social life, leadership is a notoriously elusive subject that generates a host of different points of explanatory focus. This is particularly so in the field of political leadership, which has been afflicted by an enduring split between the biographical idiosyncrasies of individual leaders and the specialist contributions from an array of social science disciplines. This new study is designed to establish an improved balance between this often myopic and confusing bifurcation of approaches. It engages with an expansive range of empirical, theoretical, and interpretive research into the issue of leadership but does so in a way that ensures that the political character of the subject is kept securely in the foreground. The project is therefore designed to maintain a clear emphasis upon leaders embedded in their political contexts and viscerally connected to high level issues of political location and status, political power and legitimacy, and political functions and contingencies.
The book has a cumulative design that moves from an in-depth analysis of the basic components of political leadership to an examination of a series of key dimensions relating to leadership activity and development--namely the themes of representation, communication, marketing, business practice, and the issue of women leaders. It goes on to survey the developmental properties of the international sphere before concluding with a substantive review of the changing landscapes of contemporary leadership activity and the different ways that we come to terms with the theme of political leadership in an increasingly complex world.