The President – creator or prisoner of his own image? Psychopolitical determinants of the functioning of the Head of State exemplified by the Polish Presidency of Andrzej Duda
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the Institute of International Relations and Public Politicies of the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, Poland
Publication date: 2021-10-28
Studia Politologiczne 2021;61
Political leadership is among the fundamental political-science categories, it remains to be defined clearly as a phenomenon. Nevertheless, as the years have passed, conditions in and around political systems have given rise to leadership models models describable in line with a triad of change from traditional leadership to marketing-oriented leadership and then to neo-leadership. The innovative definition of the latter has then been brought together with considerations of political image, with the resultant category then proving of interest to those researching either the political, or the sociological, or the communicological perspectives. The images of all key players in politics are both created and managed, while leadership that is actually effective or perceived to be so is essential if political power and support are to be built and maintained. The example of Polish President Andrzej Duda is here used in an analysis of the image of Head of State, in the circumstances of the 2015–2020 period overall, as well as the 2020 (re-) election campaign. This is done with a view to answering a general question regarding the extent to which a given politician (and here A. Duda specifically) is the creator or the prisoner of his/her own image. Account is thus taken of the factors shaping the image of this particular President (i.e. advisors and family, the media and the electorate). While the conclusions obtained here are not unequivocal, they do open up new questions relating to the future of leadership in times of crises and the existence of major populist movements. Consideration of these issues is here based mainly on the comparative and historical methods.
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