Understanding Prime-Ministerial Performance: Comparative Perspectives

Overview

At the beginning of the twenty-first century prime ministers loom larger in the consciousness of their nations than perhaps in any previous era. But how well do we really understand the variables of prime-ministerial performance, and, specifically, why some prime ministers apparently flourish in the role while others wither? This study examines how prime ministers perform as leaders of their governments, parties, and nations. It offers new ways of thinking about prime-ministerial power and leadership, and ...

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Overview

At the beginning of the twenty-first century prime ministers loom larger in the consciousness of their nations than perhaps in any previous era. But how well do we really understand the variables of prime-ministerial performance, and, specifically, why some prime ministers apparently flourish in the role while others wither? This study examines how prime ministers perform as leaders of their governments, parties, and nations. It offers new ways of thinking about prime-ministerial power and leadership, and systematic empirical studies of prime-ministerial leadership practices in four Westminster democracies: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The volume features contributions from leading political scientists from all of these countries and is organised into three major sections: understanding power in prime-ministerial performance, prime ministers and their parties, and evaluating prime-ministerial performance. Through its collaborative and multifaceted approach the volume demonstrates that there are no hard and fast propositions or rules of thumb to capture what it is that makes us think of some prime ministers as so much more effective than others. Instead it highlights the importance for students of executive government to grasp the contingent interplay between personal, institutional, and contextual factors in understanding and evaluating prime-ministerial performance.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199666423
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/19/2013
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Strangio is a specialist in Australian political history with a particular focus on political parties and political leadership at both national and state level. He has published widely in the field as the author and editor of some ten books over the past decade, including biography and party history. Paul is also a leading commentator on Australian politics in the electronic and print media. He is a senior lecturer in politics in the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University.

Paul 't Hart was, before joining Utrecht University, at Leiden University's Department of Public Administration from 1987 until 2002. Between 2005 and 2010 his main appointment was as Professor of Political Science at Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University. He is also a fellow of the Australia New Zealand School of Government and has taught and trained thousands of public officials in Holland, Australia, and Sweden. His areas of expertise include: political and public sector leadership; crisis management; policy evaluation and policy change; political-administrative relations within executive government; and accountability in national and EU governance. He is Professor of Public Administration at the Utrecht School of Governance and Associate Dean at the Netherlands School of Government in The Hague.

James Walter has previously held chairs at the University of London and at Griffith University (Brisbane). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, and a former President of the Australian Political Studies Association. His areas of expertise and publication cover Australian politics and political history, leadership and political biography, political ideas, political psychology, and policy decision making. He is Professor of Politics at Monash University, and Professor Emeritus at Griffith University.

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Table of Contents

1. Prime Ministers and the Performance of Public Leadership, Paul Strangio, Paul 't Hart and James Walter
Part I Understanding Power in Prime-Ministerial Performance
Introduction to Part I, Paul Strangio, Paul 't Hart and James Walter
2. Personal Style, Institutional Setting and Historical Opportunity: Prime-Ministerial Performance in Context, James Walter
3. Power in Prime-Ministerial Performance: Institutional and Personal Factors, Keith Dowding
4. Chapter 4 The Politics Prime Ministers Make: Political Time and Executive Leadership in Westminster Systems, Matthew Laing and Brendan McCaffrie
5. Gendering Prime-Ministerial Power, Patricia Lee Sykes
Part II Prime Ministers and Their Parties
Introduction to Part II, Paul Strangio, Paul 't Hart and James Walter
6. Prime Ministers and Their Parties in the United Kingdom, Timothy Heppell
7. Prime Ministers and Their Parties in Canada, Jonathan Malloy
8. Prime Ministers and Their Parties in Australia, Judith Brett
9. Prime Ministers and Their Parties in New Zealand, Jon Johansson
Part III Evaluating Prime-Ministerial Performance
Introduction to Part III, Paul Strangio, Paul 't Hart and James Walter
10. Evaluating Prime-Ministerial Performance: The British Experience, Kevin Theakston
11. Evaluating Prime-Ministerial Performance: The Canadian Experience, Stephen Azzi and Norman Hillmer
12. Evaluating Prime-Ministerial Performance: The Australian Experience, Paul Strangio
13. Evaluating Prime-Ministerial Performance: The New Zealand Experience, Jon Johansson and Stephen Levine
14. From Prime-Ministerial Leadership to Court Politics, R.A.W. Rhodes

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