The contradictions of political leadership and systems thinking Cover Image

A politikai vezetés és a rendszerszintű gondolkodás ellentmondásai
The contradictions of political leadership and systems thinking

Author(s): Gábor Király, Alexandra Köves, Bálint Balázs
Subject(s): Governance, Government/Political systems
Published by: MTA Politikai Tudományi Intézete
Keywords: systems thinking; political leadership; political survival; environmental policy-making; environmental quality

Summary/Abstract: This paper argues that the failure to implement sustainable policies is not merely due to the fact that successful political leaders lack systems intelligence or foresight but that their ambitions – one of which is their motivation to politically survive – strongly infl uence their judgements. On the one hand, it is undeniably crucial to understand how leaders acquire and process information and how their systems thinking perspectives guide their cognitive procedures when turning pieces of information into policy interventions. On the other hand, it is also important to highlight that leaders are embedded both in institutional and political contexts that also deeply affect their political decisions and practices. Based on selectorate theory this paper suggests that in addition to these effects, under the current rules of politics, the main motivation of political leaders is to increase the chances of their own political survival, drawing upon their systemic understanding. By analysing how this motivation affects environmental policy-making, this paper would like to contribute to research that searches for new avenues in thinking about more sustainable political leadership.

  • Issue Year: XXVI/2017
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 57-78
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Hungarian