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Leaders of the Opposition
 
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Leaders of the Opposition
From Churchill to Cameron
Edited by Timothy Heppell
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
27 Mar 2012
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£66.00
|Hardback In Stock
  
9780230296473
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Political journalists often refer to Leader of the Opposition as the hardest job in politics, and yet despite this opposition studies has been largely neglected by political academics. To address this gap, this edited book brings together a team of leading British Politics experts to evaluate the performance of each Leader of the Opposition in the post-war era. Each Leader of the Opposition from Churchill to Cameron is assessed in terms of their proficiency as public communicators; their effectiveness in constructing viable public policy platforms; their abilities in party management and their emotional intelligence or how they coped with the demands of the role. Through these evaluations conclusions are drawn on how Leaders of the Opposition are increasingly less experienced when acquiring the position and how in the era of valence politics expectations of them as Leader are higher and tolerance of failure is lower.


Description

Political journalists often refer to Leader of the Opposition as the hardest job in politics, and yet despite this opposition studies has been largely neglected by political academics. To address this gap, this edited book brings together a team of leading British Politics experts to evaluate the performance of each Leader of the Opposition in the post-war era. Each Leader of the Opposition from Churchill to Cameron is assessed in terms of their proficiency as public communicators; their effectiveness in constructing viable public policy platforms; their abilities in party management and their emotional intelligence or how they coped with the demands of the role. Through these evaluations conclusions are drawn on how Leaders of the Opposition are increasingly less experienced when acquiring the position and how in the era of valence politics expectations of them as Leader are higher and tolerance of failure is lower.


Reviews

'Opposition leaders matter, but are understudied. Studying opposition leaders allows key lessons to be learnt about the nature of British democracy and representation. However, it is all too easy for scholarly attention to fall on Prime Ministers and ignore their opponent at the dispatch-box. This edited collection provides excellent critical assessments on post-war opposition leaders from Churchill to Cameron with chapters written by authoritative experts in the field. It is a significant advancement for studies of the opposition, and a key book for students and scholars of British politics.'
- Toby S. James, Lecturer in Politics, University of Swansea

'Leaders of the Opposition is an important book. It goes some considerable way to answering the question of why Leader of the Opposition is the hardest job in British politics. The book is firmly set within the context of a changed political environment, one in which leadership dynamics matter and failure is not an option. Expertly marshalled by Dr Tim Heppell, an impressive cast of contributors view opposition leaders from Churchill to Cameron against established political leadership criteria. This edited book fulfils many functions: it is a critical analysis of an under-researched position in British politics, it is a valuable contribution to understanding contemporary political leadership and it is a handbook for those contemplating the hardest job. Above all though it is a great read for students and academics.'
- Mark Bennister, Lecturer in Politics, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK


Contents

Introduction; T.Heppell
Winston Churchill 1945-1951; K.Theakston
Clement Attlee 1951-1955; V.Honeyman & T.Heppell
Hugh Gaitskell 1955-1963; T.Heppell
Harold Wilson 1963-1964 and 1970-1974; P.Dorey
Alec Douglas-Home 1964-1975; M.Hill
Edward Heath 1965-1970 and 1974-1975; M.Garnett
Margaret Thatcher 1975-1979; P.Norton
James Callaghan 1979-1980; S.Meredith
Michael Foot 1980-1983; E.Gouge
Neil Kinnock 1983-1992; S.Griffiths
John Smith 1992-1994; M.Stuart
Tony Blair 1994-1997; S.McAnulla
William Hague 1997-2001; N.Fletcher
Iain Duncan Smith 2001-2003; R.Hayton
Michael Howard 2003-2005; M.Garnett
David Cameron 2005-2010; T.Bale
Conclusion; T.Heppell
Bibliography



Authors

TIMOTHY HEPPELL Lecturer in British Politics at theUniversity of Leeds, UK.He is the author of Choosing the Tory Leader: From Heath to Cameron (2008) and Choosing the Labour Leader: From Wilson to Brown (2010).