Mister unpopular: François hollande and the exercise of presidential leadership, 2012-14
435 - 457
Modern and Contemporary France
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© 2014 Association for the Study of Modern & Contemporary France. This article examines the first two years of François Hollande's presidential term from a leadership perspective. The central argument is that while Hollande has sometimes been unlucky in the face of unanticipated events and severely constrained by contextual factors outside of his control, notably France's low levels of economic growth, he has also displayed a lack of certain essential leadership qualities. He failed to grasp the scale of the economic situation in the early months of his tenure and so lost precious time in fully addressing the need for structural reforms and engaging in a persuasive pedagogic narrative. In addition, his public communication - an essential leadership quality in the era of mediatised politics - has been poor. Hollande's attempt to relaunch his presidential leadership following the disastrous set of mid-term election results in 2014 marks the start of a new phase in his tenure of the office.