In today's world, national leaders have immense power to make decisions affecting millions of lives, both domestically and internationally. Yet questions about the performance of these leaders, and specifically what psychological or external factors determine whether they will be innovative and effective or will muddle through, have received surprisingly little attention.
An introductory section presents main themes in the study of innovative leadership and in addition reviews the existing, inadequate state of our knowledge. The two subsequent sections further explore the basic questions through case studies of leaders in democratic systems and in transitional or authoritarian systems. By looking at the individual records of such major twentieth-century leaders as De Gaulle, Adenauer, Gandhi, Gorbachev, Sadat, and several American presidents, the authors contribute fresh insights about the particular leaders, consider how the type of system in which they functioned enhanced or constrained their innovativeness, and shed light on the broader questions of what factors encourage or inhibit successful innovation in the international sphere.
Gabriel Sheffer is Director of the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations, and Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
"It's a joy to read and will fascinate any student of political leadership. The book is so well written and substantively so interesting that I think it would appeal to incumbent and aspiring political leaders as well as scholars and students in various disciplines. There are three things I like the most: it focuses on the heart of political leadership studies—the capacity for innovation; it contains informative, well-written (sometimes even elegant) case studies by mature scholarly specialists; and the whole demonstrates a coherent unity of purpose. " — Glenn Paige, University of Hawaii at Manoa