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The Leadership Capital IndexA New Perspective on Political Leadership$
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Mark Bennister, Ben Worthy, and Paul 't Hart

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198783848

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198783848.001.0001

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Leadership Capital in a Protracted Crisis

Leadership Capital in a Protracted Crisis

Spanish Prime Ministers Compared

(p.207) Chapter 11 Leadership Capital in a Protracted Crisis
The Leadership Capital Index

José A. Olmeda

César Colino

Oxford University Press

The last Spanish prime ministers, Zapatero and Rajoy, have had to deal with the effects of the 2007 economic crisis. The Leadership Capital Index is used to analyze their respective leaderships and shows how both leaders used, gained, or lost capital while seeking to deal with the severe disruption it caused. The shape of the two trajectories that emerge are very different: Zapatero, a popular and populist transformative leader, rapidly loses capital in a “cascade” while the right-wing, cautious delegator Rajoy preserves and incrementally increases his. Both leaders failed the ultimate electoral test, respectively ousted by their party in 2011 and winning a pyrrhic electoral majority at the polls in 2015 but unable to form a government. The comparison reveals how both leaders lacked the necessary skills, relations, and reputation for crisis management, failing to build a narrative or communicate, while also beset by distrust, and declining personal and party popularity ratings.

Keywords:   global financial crisis, political leadership, crisis management, distrust, Spanish prime ministers

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