Assessing the authority of political office-holders: the leadership capital index

Bennister, M., Worthy, B. and 't Hart, P. (2014) Assessing the authority of political office-holders: the leadership capital index. West European Politics. ISSN 0140-2382.

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This article argues that the extent to which political office-holders can effectively attain and wield authority is a function of the stock of ‘leadership capital.’ Drawing on the concept of political capital, we define leadership capital as aggregate authority composed of three dimensions: skills; relations; and reputation of a leader. Leadership capital ebbs and flows over time within a trajectory of acquisition, expenditure and inevitable depreciation. We present a Leadership Capital Index (LCI) that systematically maps out the three broad areas combining concrete measures with interpretive aspects. This can be used as a tool for systematically tracking and comparing the political fortunes of leaders in a way that is both more nuanced and robust than exclusive reliance on the latest approval ratings. We offer an illustrative case study of Tony Blair demonstrating the LCI. We conclude by discerning several promising paths for future development of the LCI.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political leadership; Blair; leadership capital index
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Mark Bennister
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2015 15:47
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 07:17

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00