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Leaders of the Opposition: From Churchill to Cameron [Hardcover]

Timothy Heppell , Nigel Fletcher , Philip Norton , Tim Bale

Price: 60.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 Mar 2012
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.

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More About the Author

Nigel Fletcher is the founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Opposition Studies, and is currently researching a PhD thesis at Kings College London. Born in Portsmouth, he graduated from Queen Mary, University of London, and was awarded the Professor Lord Smith Prize for his dissertation on the role of the opposition. He worked as a researcher at the London Assembly before joining the Conservative Research Department, where he was Special Adviser on Education between 2004 and 2008. In this role he served successive Shadow Education Secretaries, including David Cameron, David Willetts and Michael Gove. During this time he was also elected as a Councillor in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, where he was Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Conservative spokesman for Culture until 2014. He lives in Eltham, South East London.

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Review

'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

Book Description

This edited volume considers both the circumstances, whether they be constraining or enhancing, and the performance of each Leader of the Opposition from Churchill to Cameron

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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