Leadership of reforming governments: the role of political tandems

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Effective political tandems in the core executive are an important success ingredient in reforming governments. As a hypothesis, a leadership-couple political tandem is explained as two individuals in a collegiate body who enjoy levels of authority that clearly exceed those of other members of that body and who collaborate explicitly or implicitly to provide the group with policy direction and political momentum. The chapter presents the plausibility of the hypothesis in three 'most-likely cases': the Fisher-Hughes, Curtin-Chifley, and Hawke-Keating reforming labor governments in Australia. The nexus between political office holders and senior public servants is now also beginning to be studied in terms of leadership dyads. Idealism and pragmatism, risk taking and caution, advocacy and consensus building, policy grunt and political salesmanship: the pairing and balancing of desirable but opposed qualities of reform leadership was achieved in these tandems in ways that individual policymakers rarely are able to do alone.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaking Public Policy Decisions
Subtitle of host publicationExpertise, Skills, and Experience
EditorsDamon Alexander, Jenny M Lewis
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781138019607
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameRoutledge Critical Studies in Public Management

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