The Personalization of Politics in Western Democracies: Causes and Consequences on Leader-Follower Relationships

The Leadership Quarterly 22: 697-709

44 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2017

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

The article provides an assessment of the most recent literature on political leadership by focusing on its effects on voters' cognition and behavior, in the light of the ongoing personalization of politics. The changing role of political leaders in contemporary democracies is assessed through a perspective aimed at linking leadership theory and political science. One of the major consequences of the personalization of politics seems to lie in the changing expectations of voters with respect to the personal profile of their leaders. This is due to the lowering effects of television and parallel attempts by leaders to appeal voters on the basis of perceived similarities. As to the leaders' effect on individual voting behavior, we highlight the various reasons that can enhance (or constrain) the role of party leaders' image in the voting calculus. Implications and directions for further research are discussed in the concluding section.

Suggested Citation

Garzia, Diego, The Personalization of Politics in Western Democracies: Causes and Consequences on Leader-Follower Relationships (2011). The Leadership Quarterly 22: 697-709. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2907385

Diego Garzia (Contact Author)

University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015
Switzerland

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