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Dispersed Democratic LeadershipOrigins, Dynamics, and Implications$
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John Kane, Haig Patapan, and Paul 't Hart

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199562992

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562992.001.0001

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Leadership by the Famous: Celebrity as Political Capital

Leadership by the Famous: Celebrity as Political Capital

(p.255) Chapter 14 Leadership by the Famous: Celebrity as Political Capital
Dispersed Democratic Leadership

Paul 't Hart

Karen Tindall

Oxford University Press

Many of us care about refugees and displaced children. Tens of thousands of us spend considerable amounts of time and money improving their situation. But few of us have been as effective in drawing attention to these issues and keeping them on the agenda of political elites and institutions around the world as celebrities such as Angelina Jolie have been. Star power defies conventional accounts of democratic leadership. It epitomizes the notion of leadership dispersal, although not one that is the product of institutional design let alone constitutional foresight. It rests upon personal rather than institutional moral capital, that capital is derived from fame, dramaturgy, and personality marketing in the non-political sphere, rather than by democratic election, representation, and accountability.

Keywords:   celebrity politics, celebrities, leadership, mobilization, democratic politics, democracy, elections, activism

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