Positivist Accounts of Political Leadership
We begin this chapter by identifying the basic relationship between positivism and the study of political leadership, emphasizing the problems many positivists have with the study of this topic. Next, we identify three specific positivist accounts. The first, the notion of leadership as a response to the problem of social coordination, is perhaps the most distinctive positivist contribution to this topic. The second, the rational choice institutionalist account, focuses on the impact of leadership institutions rather than leaders themselves. The third, leader effects accounts, examines the impact of individual-level, leader-related variables on political outcomes. We present two types of leader effects accounts. We end the chapter with a critical evaluation of positivist accounts of political leadership.
KeywordsPolitical Leadership Vote Behavior Collective Good Party Leader Street Lighting
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