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date: 26 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter the argument is that the investigation of political leadership has been central to the study of politics since the Greeks of classical antiquity. Systematic studies of leadership did traditionally have a more moral than empirical basis until the development of empirical political science in the mid-twentieth century. Moral considerations have not been neglected but have been included in the behaviourist-influenced research undertaken, preponderantly in the USA, by students of the American presidency such as Skowronek, Hargrove, Greenstein, and others. This American research has resulted in a series of investigative works bringing the comparative dimension of politics to the fore and making testable generalizations about contemporary political leadership and enabling the construction of conceptual frameworks that are applicable in modern societies. Research on leadership has drawn from other disciplines such as psychology and management, but political studies have developed categories, classifications, and models that clarify the process of leadership in modern states as well as the techniques and capacities of today’s political leadership.

Keywords: political leadership, models, templates, theories, Western leadership, political insight

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