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Recommending Books for Purchase (Bulletin 81 - June 2020): Political Leadership
The Blind Spots of Public Bureaucracy and the Politics of Non‐Coordination by Tobias Bach (Editor); Kai Wegrich (Editor)
Publication Date: 2018-06-13
How to better coordinate policies and public services across public sector organizations has been a major topic of public administration research for decades. However, few attempts have been made to connect these concerns with the growing body of research on biases and blind spots in decision-making. This book attempts to make that connection. It explores how day-to-day decision-making in public sector organizations is subject to different types of organizational attention biases that may lead to a variety of coordination problems in and between organizations, and sometimes also to major blunders and disasters. The contributions address those biases and their effects for various types of public organizations in different policy sectors and national contexts. In particular, it elaborates on blind spots, or 'not seeing the not seeing', and different forms of bureaucratic politics as theoretical explanations for seemingly irrational organizational behaviour. The book's theoretical tools and empirical insights address conditions for effective coordination and problem-solving by public bureaucracies using an organizational perspective.
The British Prime Minister in the Core Executive by Birgit Bujard
Publication Date: 2018-07-31
This book examines the UK prime minister's political leadership in the domestic executive. By offering a comparative study of the political leadership of James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair with regard to European monetary policy, it challenges the thesis that British prime ministers today have more power, resources and autonomy than their predecessors, giving them a greater capacity to act. Taking key European monetary policy decisions by the British government between 1976 and 2007 as empirical cases, the book assesses the extent to which the political leadership of each prime minister was affected by the cabinet, the parliamentary party as well as the media, and the extent to which he or she was able to manage these factors. It becomes clear from this analysis that prime ministerial predominance is not as frequent as suggested, while collective leadership does not represent a return to cabinet government. Moreover, particularly the party in government affects the prime minister's leadership by shaping his or her options on appointments (and therefore the composition of the core executive), and through its behaviour in parliament, e.g. through rebellions or the threat of them.
The Four Speeches Every Leader Has to Know by Bård Norheim; Joar Haga
Publication Date: 2019-05-31
This book provides a rhetorical manual for political and business leaders to motivate followers even in times of hardship. It covers the fine art of persuasion and argues that there are four speeches every leader has to know: the opening speech, the executioner speech, the consolation speech, and the farewell speech. The authors explore how leaders could speak in order to appear credible to an audience, and they argue that the leader has to take on suffering and give meaning to the suffering people experience. The book analyzes speeches from a wide variety of speakers, including Sir Winston Churchill, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, and Angela Merkel, and ends with a rhetorical dictionary for leaders to help readers familiarize themselves with helpful terms from rhetorical theory.
Leadership in the Eurozone by Magnus G. Schoeller
Publication Date: 2019-03-15
Leadership of powerful states and organizations is crucial for the success of regional integration projects. This book offers a theoretical model explaining such leadership. By applying the model to eurozone governance and reform, the book combines innovative theorizing on leadership in regional and international affairs with original research on Economic and Monetary Union politics. Six in-depth case studies analyze the (non-)leadership of Germany and EU institutions in eurozone crisis management. Moreover, the book evaluates the eurozone's leadership record since the outbreak of its crisis and helps readers understand the leadership of collective actors, and the extent to which they can contribute to overcoming crisis and fostering European integration. In particular, the book investigates the under-researched questions of who provided leadership in the eurozone crisis and why, and which conditions are required to achieve successful leadership in the EU.
Looking Back on President Barack Obama's Legacy by Wilbur C. Rich (Editor)
Publication Date: 2019-01-28
When President Barack Hussein Obama left office January 20, 2017, he left a fascinating legacy. The Obama Presidency will remain an intriguing part of our nation's political history, and we can now say that there were unexpected achievements and failures. His tenure was both historical and complex, and will inevitably be compared with his predecessors and successors. The chapters in this volume are a serious assessment of President Obama's tenure written by a diverse team that includes political scientists, sociologists, historians, and economists. They provide critical insights into the man and his policies and, more importantly, are written in a manner that makes them available to laypersons, journalists, students, and scholars.
Reading Donald Trump by Jeremy Kowalski (Editor)
Publication Date: 2018-09-14
This book provides a scholarly assessment and analysis of the Trump campaign and early presidency. This assessment and analysis is important not only to help provide some coherence to the turbulent and unpredictable character of "Trumpism," but to contribute to establishing a scholarly foundation for future works that will provide assessments of the Trump presidency in its mid and later stages. Given the divisive and destructive capacity of "Trumpism" and its political and social implications both domestically and internationally, understanding the distinctive political phenomenon of "Trumpism" is necessary if resistance to this transformative moment in American political history is to be successful. This book collects a series of short scholarly contributions on various themes related to "Trumpism" by scholars from disciplines in both the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Systemic Leadership for Local Governance by Catherine Hobbs
Publication Date: 2019-02-07
"A truly expansive and valuable book that challenges the assumptions and constraints of current leadership thinking... Its focus on integrating theory and practice is particularly helpful in linking its key ideas to current public sector management concerns." --Gareth Morgan, Author of Images of Organization "While other authors have offered general principles of systemic leadership or given readers single approaches, Hobbs is much more ambitious: she brings together diverse, well-tested theoretical, methodological and practical approaches to provide today's leaders with a multifaceted resource that can aid them in thinking systemically. In this respect, her book is a significant advance on previous offerings, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to leaders, aspiring leaders and leadership academics around the world." --Gerald Midgley, University of Hull, UK "This is an impressive and innovative work that draws together the disparate strands of complexity theory, systems thinking and operational research to build an adaptive social learning approach for local governance, helping to shift it from a service-led to systemic-deliberative model. This is essential reading for local government actors, students of local policy and for the public policy generalist." --Robert Geyer, Lancaster University, UK Addressing matters of complexity systemically rather than mechanistically is now an ethical and practical paradigm-changing challenge for public policy. This optimistic book explores how action could be led in a joined-up way, signposting resources to thinking differently. Attention is paid to leading the design of adaptive social learning around what matters, re-connecting with public purpose to enable tailoring towards contemporary needs and constraints. Relevant to postgraduates, academics, local government managers, curious practitioners and the wider public, private and third sectors where there is interest in interpreting leadership via the cognitive capabilities of Systems Science.
War and Happiness by Peter S. Jenkins
Publication Date: 2019-06-19
"Jenkins' rare combination of psychological theorizing and archival research in several countries and time periods yields a fascinating new take on the central question of when states over-estimate or under-estimate others' resolve. The biases that leaders and elites fall prey to appear to vary with their emotional states and senses of well-being, factors that most scholars have ignored." --Robert Jervis, author of How Statesmen Think This groundbreaking book explains how the happiness levels of leaders, politicians and diplomats affect their assessments of the resolve of their state's adversaries and allies. Its innovative methodology includes case studies of the origins of twelve wars with Anglo-American involvement from 1853 to 2003 and the psycholinguistic text mining of the British Hansard and the U.S. Congressional Record.