The Pivot of Power

Australian Prime Ministers and Political Leadership, 1949-2016

Paul Strangio, Paul 't Hart, James Walter
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The Pivot of Power

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Miegunyah Press

The Pivot of Power

Australian Prime Ministers and Political Leadership, 1949-2016

Paul Strangio, Paul 't Hart, James Walter

The second volume about the history of the Australian Prime Minstership, following on from Settling the Office: The Australian Prime Ministership from Federation to Reconstruction.

The prime ministership remains the main prize in Australian politics, but it is a precarious one. Leadership turnover in recent years has seen more prime ministers rise and fall than at any time since the decade after federation. What explains this volatility?

The Pivot of Power is the second volume in a unique blend of collective biography and institutional history that shows the skills, limitations and passions of incumbents are only part of the story. The ways in which prime ministers thrive and fail are influenced by the resources at their command, the evolving nature of the parties they lead, the daunting public expectations they face under a relentless media gaze, and the challenges that history throws at them. Recent changes in these areas have had a destabilising effect and made the role of prime minister more onerous than ever.

After decades of strong national leadership, the office has rarely…
The prime ministership remains the main prize in Australian politics, but it is a precarious one. Leadership turnover in recent years has seen more prime ministers rise and fall than at any time since the decade after federation. What explains this volatility?

The Pivot of Power is the second volume in a unique blend of collective biography and institutional history that shows the skills, limitations and passions of incumbents are only part of the story. The ways in which prime ministers thrive and fail are influenced by the resources at their command, the evolving nature of the parties they lead, the daunting public expectations they face under a relentless media gaze, and the challenges that history throws at them. Recent changes in these areas have had a destabilising effect and made the role of prime minister more onerous than ever.

After decades of strong national leadership, the office has rarely seemed quite so confounding as it does for its contemporary holders. The Pivot of Power explains how this has come about. And its rich account of prime-ministerial fortune since the mid-twentieth century yields historical lessons for overcoming the current malaise.

This is the book we had to have, explaining the rise and fall of the prime minister in Australian life.”
George Megalogenis

About the author

Paul Strangio

Paul Strangio is Associate Professor of Politics in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University. A political historian and biographer, he has written extensively about political leadership and political parties in Australia. Before recent studies of the Australian prime ministers, his last book was Neither Power Nor Glory: 100 Years of Political Labor in Victoria, 1856–1956 (2012). Paul has also been a long-time commentator on Australian politics in the print and electronic media.

He is the co-author of Understanding Prime-Ministerial Performance: Comparative Perspectives (2013), Settling the Office: The Australian Prime Ministership from Federation to Reconstruction (2016) and The Pivot of Power: Australian Prime Ministers and Political Leadership, 1949-2016 (2017).

About Paul Strangio

Paul 't Hart

Paul 't Hart is Professor of Public Administration, Utrecht School of Governance, Utrecht University, the Netherlands. A former professor of political science at the Australian National University, since 2007 Paul has been a core faculty member of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government. He writes about political and public service leadership, crisis management, policy evaluation and public accountability. He is the author of The Leadership Capital Index: A New Perspective on Political Leadership (2017) and co-author of Understanding Prime-Ministerial Performance: Comparative Perspectives (2013), Settling the Office: The Australian Prime Ministership from Federation to Reconstruction (2016) and The Pivot of Power: Australian Prime Ministers and Political Leadership, 1949-2016 (2017).

About Paul 't Hart

James Walter

James Walter is Professor of Politics in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He has published widely on biography, political psychology, leadership, political thought and policy deliberation. His last book, before recent studies of the Australian prime ministers, was What Were They Thinking? The Politics of Ideas in Australia (2010).

He is the co-author of Understanding Prime-Ministerial Performance: Comparative Perspectives (2013), Settling the Office: The Australian Prime Ministership from Federation to Reconstruction (2016) and The Pivot of Power: Australian Prime Ministers and Political Leadership, 1949-2016 (2017).

About James Walter

Ebook
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Available on publication date
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Other formats available
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