You are cordially invited to Professor John Gaffney's Inaugural Lecture taking place on Monday 11th May 2009
Leadership, Image, and Style: the Politics of Persuasion
In the study of politics, it is leadership that we find all too often misunderstood. The role of the image, style, and rhetoric of political figures are often overlooked in the discipline, and yet are fundamental to our perceptions of power. It is an irony, therefore, that the public generally have passionate convictions and views about ‘charismatic’ leaders, particularly in times of difficulty or crisis. How does the 'style' of President Obama influence us rationally and emotionally? How does the image of a leader affect us? Can a particular speech, a cadence, tone, or slogan, change a political situation?
This lecture will examine these issues to identify the myths and ideas that underlie our relationship to those who govern us. The fundamentals of our argument are that what politicians say and do and ‘seem to be’, how they ‘perform’, are of great – and neglected – importance in the study of political relations. In order properly to understand a political performance, we need to be aware of its relation to the institutional configuration it takes place within. This itself is embedded in a given political culture, and this in turn in the mythologies that inform our societies. Seeing politics in this complex but fruitful way enables us to understand the dynamics of why we do or do not follow leaders.
The talk will take place in the Sumpner Lecture Theatre at 6.30pm
Tea and coffee will be served from 5.30pm on the 6th floor foyer and a buffet will follow the lecture.
To book a place, please email email@example.com or for further information contact Jean Hasson.