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Interactive Political LeadershipThe Role of Politicians in the Age of Governance$
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Eva Sørensen

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777953

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198777953.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 31 July 2021

Institutionalizing Interactive Political Leadership

Institutionalizing Interactive Political Leadership

(p.133) 10 Institutionalizing Interactive Political Leadership
Interactive Political Leadership

Eva Sørensen

Oxford University Press

A key factor that conditions the political leadership of elected politicians is the institutional structure of representative democracy. Political institutions constrain as well as enable political leadership. They regulate what politicians can do, and grant them the authority and legitimacy needed to act in the name of the members of the political community. Then, how do the institutions of representative democracy condition the performance of interactive political leadership? Chapter 10 shows that although the formal structure of representative democracy tends to encourage political competition, the non-formal political institutions promote political bargaining, negotiation and collaboration between political elites. Although neither the formal nor the non-formal institutions promote interaction between politicians and citizens, it takes relatively small-scale reforms to enable politicians to perform interactive political leadership. Political leaders are not only institution-takers but also institution-makers and it is their prerogative to improve the institutional conditions for performing interactive political leadership in representative democracies. A review of recent institutional reforms testifies to a growing interest among politicians in promoting dialogue between politicians and citizens around agenda-setting, policy innovation, and policy application.

Keywords:   institutions of representative democracy, formal institutions, non-formal institutions, institutional change, democratic reforms, institution takers, institution makers, politicians

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