Leader Of The Gang: Timely New Essay On Political Leadership
An inside look at the tenuous leadership bargain in Australian politics
Speculation about a change in political leadership seems almost perpetual in Australia. It is a tenuous bargain, with more similarities to street gangs than business enterprises.
Glyn Davis, professor of political science and vice-chancellor of Melbourne University, argues in an elegant new essay to be released 26 November, Leader of the gang: how political parties choose numero uno that Australian political leadership is unlike that required or expected in any other public endeavour. He reviews the history of the leadership turbulence that besets both sides of Australian politics and reaches some worrying conclusions.
The essay will provide useful insights for political insiders, politicians, journalists and public servants, but is important for every voter who cares about the health of Australian democracy.
Leader of the gang is available on 26 November as an ePub through www.griffithreview.com and all major online retailers such as Amazon, Kobo, Dymocks, Whitcoulls, booki.sh and more, for AUD$4.95.
Readers can pre-register
for a copy at www.griffithreview.com.
Extracts available upon inquiry for 26 November.
“Melbourne University vice-chancellor Glyn
Davis is more than a professor of political science; for
years he worked closely with premiers and prime ministers
and understands the brutal ingredients necessary for a
successful political leader to get elected and survive in
the murky waters of parliamentary parties. From the leaders
of street gangs in Chicago to the removal of Kevin Rudd,
Glyn Davis' essay brings new insights into the fickle group
culture which anoints and removes leaders.”
-Peter Beattie, former Premier of Queensland
politics in Australia is a brutal business. This is a
penetrating examination of why people are made leaders, and
why they are unmade.”
-Petro Georgiou retired as federal member for Kooyong in 2010. He is currently Vice-Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow at Monash University and the University of Melbourne
“In contrast with the
smooth, shining ideal types posited in parts of the academy,
Glyn Davis reveals political party leadership in Australia
for the crap shoot that it is – transitory, contextual,
capricious, more ‘West Side Story’ than ‘Westminster
system’. It incites deep thinking about how to reduce
churn rates which risk making the leadership lottery Davis
sketches so compellingly a losing bet for the Australian
nation as a whole.”
-Chris Wallace, political journalist and biographer and editor of Breakfast Politics
“In economics, Keynes called them animal spirits. In
politics we often spend too much time trying to attribute
the outcomes of the wild scrum of a political pack to
loftier, more intellectual motivations. Glyn Davis takes us
back to consider a more uncomfortable truth.”
-Laura Tingle, Political Editor, Australian Financial Review
“Glyn Davis discovers that the secrets of how political
leaders take and hold power in Australia – and why so many
are torn down – can be found not by looking at
conventional models of leadership, but at the behaviour of
street gangs. Refreshingly original, compelling, provocative
and ultimately troubling.”
-Michael Gordon, National Editor, The Age