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Leadership with trustworthy associates

Dewan, Torun and Squintani, Francesco (2018) Leadership with trustworthy associates. American Political Science Review, 112 (4). 844 - 859. ISSN 0003-0554

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0003055418000229


Group members value informed decisions and hold ideological preferences. A leader takes a decision on their behalf. Good leadership depends on characteristics of moderation and judgement. The latter emerges (endogenously) via advice communicated by “trustworthy associates”. Trustworthy advice requires ideological proximity to the leader. A group may choose a relatively extreme leader with a large number of such associates. Paradoxically, this can happen though it is in the group’s collective interest to choose a moderate leader. To assess whether these insights persist when political groups compete, we embed our analysis in a model of elections. Each of two parties chooses a leader who implements her preferred policy if elected. We find that a party may choose an extreme leader who defeats a moderate candidate chosen by the opposing party. Our results highlight the importance of party cohesion and the relations between a leader and her party. These can be more important to electoral success than proximity of a leader’s position to the median voter.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © Cambridge University Press 2018
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2018 14:48
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 23:14

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