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The personalization of power

[journal article]

Calise, Mauro

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Abstract Personal power has been thus far a taboo to academic political science. It forces us to reconsider many of our basic assumptions. It shakes the very foundations of orthodox democratic theory. The new century and, for that matter, the new millennium is one where personal power will dictate new rules and new directions. Leaders of today's democracies have access to a tremendous amount of resources: financial, communicational, institutional. They do so through legitimate democratic channels, which makes for a clear-cut difference from all sorts of dictators that political systems have experimented in the past. And they may enjoy extraordinary levels of popularity, in what often becomes a direct relationship with the electorate. The amount of personal power a democratic leader can today accumulate is thus unprecedented. Yet this rise of personal power is not the result of a deviation, a deliberate deviation from the ordinary regime. Personalization of politics, much more than an individual choice, has become a structural and systemic element of contemporary politics.
Keywords political power; theory of democracy; democracy; media; political leadership; political regime
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 617-622
Journal Studia Politica : Romanian Political Science Review, 10 (2010) 4
ISSN 1582-4551
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works