81772 - Leadership in Contemporary Democracies

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to analyse the phenomenon of political leadership, both from a general and theoretical point of view and from the perspective of its role in contemporary and presidentialized democracies. At the end of the course students are supposed to be able to describe and analyse the relationships among political institutions, political parties and political leaders and their transformations, as well as to evaluate how these transformations influence the working of democratic political systems.

Course contents

  • Leaders and political leadership
  • The leader and the followers: charisma and soft power, transactional and transformative leadership
  • Styles and psychology of political leaders
  • The presidentialization of politics and the “audience democracy”
  • Leadership and populism
  • Leadership and the mediatisation of politics


1) B. Manin, Principes du gouvernement réprésentatif, Paris, Flammarion, 2012, chapitre VI.

2) P.-J. Maarek, La communication et le marketing de l'homme politique, LEXISNEXIS, 4ème édition, 2014 (première partie)

3) C. Salmon, La Cérémonie Cannibale. De la performance politique, Paris, Fayard, 2013.

Other readings will be distributed in class

Teaching methods

Teaching lessons and seminars

Assessment methods

All students will be evaluated on the basis of participation in class discussions (40 per cent) and the elaboration of a written work (4 open questions) at the end of the course (60%).

Teaching tools

Power point, video

Office hours

See the website of Sofia Ventura