Assessing the Authority of Political Office-Holders: The Leadership Capital Index

Bennister, Mark, 't Hart, Paul and Worthy, Ben (2015) Assessing the Authority of Political Office-Holders: The Leadership Capital Index. West European Politics, 38 (3). pp. 417-440. ISSN 0140-2382

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This article argues that the extent to which political office-holders can effectively attain and wield authority is a function of the stock of leadership capital. Drawing on the concept of political capital, the article defines leadership capital as aggregate authority composed of three dimensions: skills, relations and reputation of a leader. Leadership capital ebbs and flows over time within a trajectory of acquisition, expenditure and inevitable depreciation. The article presents a Leadership Capital Index (LCI) that systematically maps out the three broad areas combining concrete measures with interpretive aspects. This can be used as a tool for systematically tracking and comparing the political fortunes of leaders in a way that is both more nuanced and robust than exclusive reliance on the latest approval ratings. An illustrative case study of Tony Blair is used to demonstrate the LCI. The article concludes by discerning several promising paths for future development of the LCI.

Keywords:authoritarianism, capital, leadership, political power, political relations
Subjects:L Social studies > L200 Politics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:33908
Deposited On:28 Nov 2018 09:53

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