31671 - Leadership and Political Communication

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to  analyse the different aspects of political leadership in contemporary democracies.  At the end of the course students are supposed to be able to manage  political science and political communication concepts and models in order to analyse the different case studies of government and party leaders in western democracies.

Course contents

1) Leadership: the concept.

2) The leader and the followers: charismatic leadership, soft, hard and smart power, transformative and transactional leadership 

3) Leadership in contemporary democracies: presidentialization and personalization of politics, the "audience democracy"

4) Leadership and communication in the "audience democracy"

  - mediatization, spectacularization and popularization of politics

  - narrative and storytelling 

5) The crisis of leadership in contemporary democracies.



Mandatory readings:

1) J. S. Nye, The Powers to Lead, New York, Oxford University Press, 2008.

2) T. Pokuntke e P. Webb, The Presidentialization of Politics in Democratic Societies: a Framework for Analysis, in T. Pokuntke e P. Webb (a cura di), The Presidentialization of Politics: a comparative study of modern democracies,Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2005 (saggio introduttivo dei curatori).

3) J. Blondel e J-L Thiébault, Political Leadership, Parties and Citizens. The personalization of leadership, Routledge, 2010, capitoli 1-6 (pp. 14-109)

4) L. Van Zoonen, Entertaining the citizen. When politics and popular culture converge. Rowman & Littlefield publishers, Lanham, 2005, capitoli 1, 2, 4, 5, 7.

5) S. Ventura, cap. 1, I leader e le loro storie, in Il racconto del capo. Sarkozy e Berlusconi, Bari-Roma, Laterza, 2012, pp. 3-35.

6) C. Salmon, Storytelling: Bewitching the Modern Mind, Verso, 2010, Introduction, chapters 1,2,5, Conclusions.

Other readings:
1) D. Campus, Antipolitics in Power: Populist Language as a Tool for Government, Hampton Press, 2010.

2) D. Campus, Lo stile del leader, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2016.

3) G. Mazzoleni, A, Sfardini, Politica Pop. Da "Porta a porta" a l' "Isola dei famosi", Bologna, Il Mulino, 2009.

4) S. Ventura, Renzi & Co. Il racconto dell'era nuova, Soveria Mannelli, Rubbettino, 2015.

5) C. Salmon, La cérémonie cannibale. De la performance politique, Paris, Fayard, 2013.

Teaching methods

Teaching  lessons and seminars.

Assessment methods

Written exam

Teaching tools

Power point, illustration of audiovisual materials.

Office hours

See the website of Sofia Ventura