Module Identifier IP30820  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Michael Foley  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   8 Hours (8 x 1 hour)  
  Lecture   16 Hours (16 x 1 hour)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  70%
Semester Assessment Project Work: 1 x 1,500 words  30%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students will be able to:

- understand the meaning, position and techniques of leadership in a political environment;
- demonstrate a grasp of the different variants, styles and purposes of leadership;
- engage critically in current debates over the meaning and value of leadership, and over the implications of leadership politics in contemporary systems;
- apply theoretical perspectives to analytical questions and issues;
- possess an enriched understanding and practical awareness of how leadership can be generated, used, maintained and lost

Brief description

This module provides an analytical framework for the study of the role, conditions and contingencies of leadership


The main aim is to analyse the nature and role of leadership in contemporary politics. The course seeks to examine the development of leadership as a central issue in political debate and party calculations; to study the opportunities for, and constraints upon, leadership; to assess significance of leadership as a criterion of political evaluation and as a motive force in public action; and to appraise theories and debates surrounding the concept and practice of leadership in political contexts


After examining the different properties and types of leadership, the course analyses and evaluates the problematic nature of democratic leadership and the constraints and contingencies of decision-making at the highest level. The module goes on to examine several related themes including the pathology of leadership crisis, the psychological factors in leadership behaviour, the trends towards presidential politics in Britain, and the differences and similarities between domestic leadership and international leadership.   For the purposes of focus and depth, the course will rely mainly upon examples taken from the US and the UK.   However, leaders in other systems will be included (e.g. Nelson Mandela, Boris Yeltsin).

Transferable skills

Students will have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of transferable skills which will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas. Throughout the course, students should practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as basic numeracy skills and self management skills. In lectures students will develop listening and note taking skills, as well as analytical skills. In seminars students will enhance their analytical skills and will practice listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as team work and problem solving. Essay writing will encourage students to practice their independent research, writing and IT skills, and the examination will test these skills under time constraint conditions.

10 ECTS Credits

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
James M Burns Leadership
Michael Foley The British Presidency: Tony Blair and the Politics of Public Leadership
Howard Gardiner Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership


This module is at CQFW Level 6