Political Leadership

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Political Leadership

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    Leaders fascinate us. We celebrate the words and deeds of great leaders and seek to emulate their achievements. Yet recalling the grim historical record of some powerful leaders, we above all long for good leaders. Loved or hated, leaders seem to demand we pay attention to them. Whether we are thinking of top political leaders, or occasional leaders in local organisations, leadership matters because it seems to promise a solution to our most intractable problems. There is nothing, it seems, that cannot be solved by the actions or example of a strong and decisive leader. Consequently we seem to attribute most of our problems to poor leadership. But what exactly is leadership? What makes a good leader? How influential are leaders? This course will explore these questions by examining the theory and practice of leadership. It will explore leadership in a number of diverse contexts after introducing students to the theoretical foundations so well laid out by Max Weber in his work Economy and Society published in 1922.
    Course Introduction
    Do leaders matter? How influential are they in politics? What makes a good leader? Is the context within which a leader acts important? This course examines the different dimensions of political leadership, ranging from the qualities of leaders, their institutional context, to the importance of historical and cultural factors. It explores the role and influence of leaders in both democratic and authoritarian regimes and in a diverse range of social and political contexts and from a range of perspectives. Guest presenters will bring their current research to bear on the question of leadership addressing such issues as the role leaders play in foreign affairs, international organisations and executive government; the difference between women leaders and their male counterparts; the ways leadership operates in indigenous communities, in civil society and in small nations.
    Course Aims
    The core aim of this course is to provide students with a detailed understanding of political leadership. It will do so by familiarising them with theories of political leadership, and the political systems that shape leadership judgment and discretion. In addition, students will be introduced to major political leaders as revealing case studies of political leadership. Students will therefore be encouraged to develop the skills to critically evaluate the various leadership theories and to apply them to individual leaders. The course aims to further develop a range of important generic skills in communication, analysis, evaluation, research and problem solving, and to enhance students? personal management skills to enable them to become more effective leaders and learners.
    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1.1 Understand political leadership from a range of different perspectives.
    1.2 Recognised the range of ways in which leaders interact with various aspects of a political system.
    1.3 Develop an appreciation for the context and cultural environment within which leadership operates.
    2.1 Develop the capacity to critically analyse the role of the leadership in different spheres of politics.
    2.2 Develop a capacity to construct and defend critical and reasoned arguments, in both oral and written form.

    Assessment Task

    Weighting/Marked out of

    Guided discussion with peers
    Guided discussion with peers


    Presentation - technical or professional
    Video Presentation


    Assignment - Written Assignment
    Theory review


    Assignment - Written Assignment
    Major Essay


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.