• R. M. Punnett
Part of the Contemporary Political Studies book series (CONTPOLSTUD)


The selection of political leaders is an ancient activity. ‘Leaders’ predate ‘parties’ by several thousand years and Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Chinese and Greeks were devising means of producing leaders long before the intricacies of Labour’s electoral college or the Conservatives’ 15 per cent rule came to light. As the Palm Sunday Homily suggests, many of the issues involved in the selection of a leader are eternal: who should be chosen, how should the person be chosen and, once chosen, how secure should the leader be permitted to be?


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  1. 1.
    See L. M. Bartels, Presidential Primaries and the Dynamics of Public Choice (Princeton, 1988);Google Scholar
  2. James W. Ceasar, Presidential Selection (Princeton, 1979);Google Scholar
  3. William J. Crotty, Party Reform (New York, 1983);Google Scholar
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  6. 2.
    See, for example, Leon D. Epstein, Political Parties in the American Mold (Madison, 1986), p. 85.Google Scholar
  7. 3.
    Hugh Heclo ‘Presidential and Prime Ministerial selection’ in D. R. Matthews (ed.), Perspectives on Presidential Selection (Washington, 1973), p. 47.Google Scholar
  8. 4.
    E. Gene Frankland ‘Does Green politics have a future in Britain? An American perspective’ in W. Rudig (ed.), Green Politics One (Edinburgh, 1990), p. 11.Google Scholar
  9. 6.
    C. R. Attlee, As It Happened (London, 1954), p. 203.Google Scholar
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    See R. T. McKenzie, British Political Parties (London, 1963), pp. 42–5 and 579–82.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    M. Duverger, Political Parties (London, 1959), p. 5.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    See S. E. Finer, The Changing British Party System 1945–79 (Washington, 1980), p. 194.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© R. M. Punnett 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Punnett
    • 1
  1. 1.University of StrathclydeUK

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