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Contingency and Political Action: the Role of Leadership in Endogenously Created Crises

[journal article]

Körösényi, András; Illés, Gábor; Metz, Rudolf

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Abstract Among the recent literature about leadership and crisis situations two main strands are to be observed: structuralist ones mainly treat political leaders as reactive agents who have relatively little room for maneuver, while constructivist ones put greater emphasis on the opportunities in interpreting crises. Our claim is that there is a third analytical possibility mainly neglected in recent literature that is even more voluntaristic than the constructivist approaches. In this scenario, there is no external shock; leaders do not only interpret, but also "invent" crises. To make our claim plausible, we build a conceptual-descriptive typology of the potential relationships between crisis situations and agency. The typology is founded on Kari Palonen's differentiation between Machiavellian and Weberian types of contingency, but uses his originally conceptual historical argument for analytical purposes. To underpin our theoretical argument, we present short illustrative examples to all three types of crisis scenarios (the structuralist, the constructivist, and the voluntarist one). (author's abstract)
Keywords political leadership; political power; political elite; career politician; political crisis; crisis; political agenda; policy implementation; political culture; typology; political theory; theory; personality; management style
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Document language English
Publication Year 2016
Page/Pages p. 91-103
Journal Politics and Governance, 4 (2016) 2
Issue topic New Approaches to Political Leadership
ISSN 2183-2463
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution