Integrating Structural Context into the Assessment of Political Leadership: Realism, Gordon Brown and the Great Financial Crisis

Buller, Jim and James, Toby (2015) Integrating Structural Context into the Assessment of Political Leadership: Realism, Gordon Brown and the Great Financial Crisis. Parliamentary Affairs, 68 (1). pp. 77-96. ISSN 0031-2290

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Abstract

How should we assess the performance of political leaders? As many scholars note, it is important to take into account the structural context politicians govern when appraising their record in office. However, many existing approaches used to assess political leaders have not integrated a notion of structure into their research in an explicit or detailed way. This article tries to respond to this gap by first discussing a range of issues involved in undertaking such an exercise. It highlights not only the significance of incorporating structure, but structural change into leadership studies. The article goes on to develop a theoretical account of structural change utilising philosophical realism, before briefly applying it to the case of Gordon Brown's tenure during the global financial crisis. It concludes by suggesting that, understood through the lens of philosophical realism, the crisis posed a particularly difficult and challenging set of circumstances for Brown and his response to them should be given more credit than it has so far received.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Hansard Society; all rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
Uncontrolled Keywords: gordon brown,political leadership,political leaders,prime ministers,statecraft
Faculty \ School: University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2014 12:36
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2019 19:56
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/48547
DOI: 10.1093/pa/gsu012

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