Chapter 1 argues for the necessity of studying how recent changes in the political systems of Western representative democracies affect the conditions under which elected politicians perform political leadership. It highlights the need for a consideration of what political leadership in the age of governance entails, and points to the need for developing a concept of interactive political leadership and a theoretical framework for research in emerging forms of political leadership, and the challenges and dilemmas politicians face in that respect. The chapter spells out the main components of such a framework and presents the overall structure of the book.
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