Accueil > The Personalization of Politics

DAFF 25A09 - Personalization of Politics (The)

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


This course does not require the student to have taken any other courses beforehand, but any courses in European modern history/politics/studies or on political parties, elections and media could be helpful. Similarly, knowledge of recent events in West European politics is useful.

Course Description

In a trend that has been shared by all of the liberal democracies, politics has become increasingly personalized. Whether, in his studies of the historical development of social and political orders, Max Weber already identified “charismatic authority” as one of the three main forms of political legitimacy, the renewed focus on the personalization of politics rather adopts a comparison stands between “party democracy” and “audience democracy”. It emphasizes the loosening grip of class-based politics and the increasing role of individual politicians in determining how people view politics and how they express their political preferences. This seminar proposes participants an overview of the different spheres (institutions, political parties, political discourse, political campaigns, and voting behavior) in which this personalization trend impacts our perception of politics, and to investigate the issue whether or not there is a significant personalization of Western politics.


VITIELLO, Thomas (Doctorant)

Course validation

o A participation grade (15%) o A group presentation grade (25%) o Debate (25%) o A take-home essay (35%)

Required reading

  • Blondel, J., Thiébault, J-L., 2010. Political Leadership, Parties and Citizens: The Personalisation of Leadership. New York, Routledge [Chapters 1, 2 and 3]
  • Karvonen, L., 2010. The Personalisation of Politics. A Study of Parliamentary Democracy. Colchester: ECPR Press.
  • Poguntke, T., and Webb, P. (Eds.), 2005. The Presidentialization of Politics: a Comparative Study of Modern Democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press [selected chapters].