Political Leadership as Statecraft? Aligning Theory with Praxis in Conversation with British Party Leaders

James, Toby S. (2018) Political Leadership as Statecraft? Aligning Theory with Praxis in Conversation with British Party Leaders. British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 20 (3). pp. 555-572. ISSN 1369-1481

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    Abstract

    How should prime ministerial and party leadership be understood and assessed? One leading approach posits that we should assess them in terms of whether they achieve statecraft, that is, winning and maintain office in government. This article supplements and then assesses that theory by drawing from Pawson and Tilley’s (1997) concept of the realistic interview, in which practitioners are deployed as co-researchers to assess and revise theory. Unprecedented interviews with British party leaders were therefore undertaken. The article provides new empirical support for the framework because many of the key generative mechanisms identified within the neo-statecraft model were present in an analysis of the interviews. The interviews also allowed the limitations of the model to be demarcated. Statecraft focusses purely on cunning leadership where the aim is to maximise power and influence. This differs from leadership by conscious where the aim is to achieve normative goals.

    Item Type: Article
    Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
    University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
    Depositing User: Pure Connector
    Date Deposited: 01 May 2018 16:30
    Last Modified: 09 Oct 2018 00:55
    URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/66903
    DOI: 10.1177/1369148118778961

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