Recent political developments suggest that political followership has played increasingly vital roles in modern democratic politics. However, scholarship seemingly lacks proper conceptual and methodological tools for analysing why and how citizens follow their leaders, and what the role of this relationship is in personalised politics and political leadership. Addressing the research gap, this article turns to generic leadership studies for help and introduces its follower-centric models into the field of political science. This venture opens with a review and comparison of some of the different perspectives about political followers in the scholarship on political leadership and personalisation, taking account of their limitations. It then moves on to assess follower-centric models and their empirical results, focusing on observers’ perceptions about the characteristics and behaviours of leaders in the attribution of leadership. Based on these models, the article offers a balanced perspective about leader-follower relations. Recommendations for future research directions are presented in the concluding sections.
Metz, R. (2021). The missing link: Studying political leadership from the followers’ perspective. Politics, 02633957211056227. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/02633957211056227