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The University of Southampton

PAIR6044 Dilemmas of Leadership

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The ability to analyse the content and application of core approaches to defining and understanding political leadership The ability to analyse the content and application of the concept of political leadership across different areas of political action, including civil society, political parties, policy networks and the institutions of government, especially the executive. Awareness of the challenges and dilemmas faced by leaders in the political sphere

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • In-depth understanding of the dilemmas that confront political leaders and different levels of government
  • In-depth knowledge of the key theoretical debates as the apply to political leadership
  • Application of key theoretical debates to practical, real world, policy problems
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Ability to undertake an independent research project and apply findings to key theoretical debates
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Group work and presentation skills


Introduction - conceptualising and theorising political leadership 2. Present-day theories of political leadership
(i) institutional analysis
(ii) contextual analysis (iii) narrative analysis 3. Political leadership at work
(i) The executive and legislature
(ii) civil society
(iii) political parties (iv) leadership during crises governance
(v) leadership and accountability

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module consists of a series of seminars, where students will discuss relevant readings, give presentations, and engage in structured debate, discussion and reflection.

Independent Study180
Total study time200



MethodPercentage contribution
Assessed Groupwork Sessions  () 20%
Book review  (1500 words) 20%
Essay/report  (4000 words) 60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  ( words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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