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Politisk ledarskapsstil: Om interaktionen mellan personlighet och institutioner i utövandet av det svenska statsministerämbetet
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2012 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Political Leadership Style : On the Interaction between Personality and Institutions in Shaping the Performance of Swedish Prime Ministers (English)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation examines key characteristics and factors shaping the leadership style of Swedish Prime Ministers (PMs). Based on the research of the American presidency, an interactionist framework is developed which draws upon institutional theory and political psychological theory. The analysis is advanced by exploring multiple sources and is based on four cases of leadership styles:  two single party Social Democratic PMs, Ingvar Carlsson and Göran Persson, as well as two center/right coalition PMs, Thorbjörn Fälldin and Carl Bildt. Leadership style is studied through a focused comparison of the PMs’ performance of four functions. Thus, the four PMs are studied as staffers and organizers of the cabinet and the Government Offices, decision makers, communicators and crisis managers. The results indicate that the office of the PM is elastic, accommodating a wide-ranging variation of leadership styles. The Social Democratic PMs display the most uniform leadership styles, but, rather surprisingly, they also have the most dissimilar leadership styles among the four cases. The center/right PMs’ approaches differ to a great extent from one another, displaying mixed forms of leadership styles. The analysis explains how the PMs’ leadership styles are shaped based on the interaction between their distinct personal characteristics and surrounding institutions. Thus, the dissertation concludes that leadership theories developed in a presidential setting are largely applicable in a parliamentary setting and that political behavior is not dictated by institutions such as formal structures or norms. The results encourage a reassessment of how personality, as an explanatory factor, is applied in mainstream political science. Furthermore, the analysis highlights the need for reconsidering the presidentialisation thesis and the notion of dominant leadership as there are alternative pathways to prime ministerial influence which are disregarded in the debate.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Stockholms universitet , 2012. , 319 p.
Stockholm studies in politics, ISSN 0346-6620 ; 146CRISMART, ISSN 1650-3856 ; 39
Keyword [en]
leadership style, Prime Minister, interactionist approach, political psychology, institutional theory, comparative method, presidentialization, crisis management
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-78722ISBN: 978-91-7447-535-7OAI: diva2:544132
Public defence
2012-09-25, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2012-09-03 Created: 2012-08-07 Last updated: 2012-08-31Bibliographically approved

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