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Understanding Prime-Ministerial PerformanceComparative Perspectives$
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Paul Strangio, Paul 't Hart, and James Walter

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199666423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199666423.001.0001

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Personal Style, Institutional Setting and Historical Opportunity: Prime-Ministerial Performance in Context

Personal Style, Institutional Setting and Historical Opportunity: Prime-Ministerial Performance in Context

Chapter:
(p.32) (p.33) 2 Personal Style, Institutional Setting and Historical Opportunity: Prime-Ministerial Performance in Context
Source:
Understanding Prime-Ministerial Performance
Author(s):

James Walter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199666423.003.0002

This chapter develops a conceptual framework for systematic description and analysis of prime-ministerial leadership. It focuses particularly on the issue of the power of prime ministers. The author proposes that to understand that power and its successful deployment demands far more than an institutional analysis of prime ministers’ authority resources, it also requires an understanding of the personality (motives, world views, skills) and styles of individual office-holders, as well as a systematic analysis of how the (political, economic, cultural) context in which they operate shapes and constrains their power chances. The argument is illustrated by a comparative examination of the prime-ministerial leadership of Gordon Brown (United Kingdom), Stephen Harper (Canada), Kevin Rudd (Australia) and John Key (New Zealand) during the Global Financial Crisis of the late 2000s.

Keywords:   prime minister(s), personality, leadership style, prime-ministerial power, institutional analysis, contextual analysis, Gordon Brown, Stephen Harper, Kevin Rudd, John Key, Global Financial Crisis

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