Political Leadership

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Political Science
Political Science 3364F/G
Timothy Cobban

POLITICAL LEADERSHIP IN URBAN POLITICS – CLARENCE STONE  There is no well developed theory of political leadership, perhaps not even a universally accepted definition  Governance is broader than office holding  Office holding bestows authority, but the authority conferred is highly limited. Particularly at the local level DEFINING LEADERSHIP  Compelling statement of mission not only gives direction to a group but is its formative experience, shaping the identity of group members by highlighting a shared aim  Purposefulness does not mean that leaders and followers hold identical goals  The reciprocal process of mobilizing – in order to realize goals independently and mutually held by both leaders and followers  The effort to realize aims is however one that involves an interaction between leader and followers  For Burns, the leader follower relationship is central  Leaders and followers may be inseparable in function, but they are not hte same. The leader takes the initiative in making the leader led connection; it is the leader who creates the links that allow communication and exchange to take place  Serve as an independent force in hanging the makeup of their followers motive base through gratifying their motives  Burns, argues leaders in their role as leaders never lose sight of the fact that their followers are persons who are to be motivated, persons whose wants and needs are to be taken into account  He sees leadership as a form of power THE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE  Arendt has explored the matter in depth. Politics is about what people can do together. Life is enmeshed in various ongoing processes and politics – acting together out of shared concerns-  But change is not a concept without ambiguity  Speaking for a group does not in itself constitute leadership BOSTON’S JAMES CURLY  Under Curley and others Boston spent lavishly but not well. Corruption was widespread, inefficiencies commonplace and tax favoritism rampant  He took a spoils system as given and exploited it ruthlessly for personal gain  The resentments he expressed had a strong basis in reality. Economic frustration and class hatred wounded pride and ethnic resentment, thwarted hope and strangled aspiration  It is gratifying to a follwership when they have someone in a position of authority give voice to their resentments and taunt those they see as their oppressors  Curley expressed such resentments, but did not restrict himself to negative appeals  Over the many years that he interacted with his followers, there is little evidence that a larger social purpose was advanced in the process NEW YORK’S FIORELLO LA GUARDIA  Whereas Curley left a patronage system intact and used it for personal gain, La Guardia not only maintained a record of unassailable personal honesty, he overturned New York’s spoils system  La Guardia benefited new immigrants eager to use education as a means of upward mobility  La Guardia lessened the city’s financial squeeze by turning to the federal government  La Guardia instilled confidence and enabled New York to receive a generous flow of federal monies  His leadership energized followers by linking them to purpose and possibility  He opened up participation in the governance of the city and did it in a way that made good government exciting and immediate  His commitment to correcting the plight of blacks was circumscribed – because the problems were so large and so intractable – other problems seemed more promising of solution  The city was riddled with corruption and saddled with fiscal crisis. La Guardia led the move to a new way of governing fashioning a new structure by reorganizing the formal structure and insisting on scrupulous adherence to reform principles and the imbuing the process with a new spirit as well  Restoring the civic virtue was, then, a major feat all the more impressive because in order to do it, La Guardia had to replace an entrenched system of patronage RICHARD DALEY AND HAROLD WASHINGTON  In creating a system of personal control, Daley neither overturned the city’s patronage system nor created powerful new agencies outside its operation  Daley consolidated control of the patronage system under his personal direction  His leadership consisted largely of knitting together and working with established centers of power  Though Daley was responsive to the anxieties of his white follwership he did nothing to promote interracial understanding or to expand opportun
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