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The Leadership Capital IndexA New Perspective on Political Leadership$
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Mark Bennister, Ben Worthy, and Paul 't Hart

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198783848

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198783848.001.0001

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“No Loans for Ladies”

“No Loans for Ladies”

Julia Gillard and Capital Denied

Chapter:
(p.45) Chapter 3 “No Loans for Ladies”
Source:
The Leadership Capital Index
Author(s):

James Walter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198783848.003.0003

The government of Australian prime minister Julia Gillard (2010–2013) presented attributes conventionally thought to be conducive to the acquisition of political capital—delivery on policy commitments, effective coalition building, competence in government, courage in adversity, approval and loyalty from those most closely engaged with her—but it never gained traction in the quest for electoral capital. What, exactly, was behind this denial of credit? This chapter discusses numerous propositions offered to explain Gillard’s failure in the context of debates about political capital to gauge how “elusive capital” might be explained. Analyzing a paradoxical case underlines the need for caution and nuance. The chapter concludes that standardized registers of leadership attributes/capacities must be carefully related to exogenous factors (country-specific scenarios and the issues of context, political culture, and historical timing they manifest) in attempts to operationalize leadership capital measures.

Keywords:   elusive capital, gendered leadership, political communication, public leadership, administrative competence, political culture

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