Leadership Performance and Rhetoric

  • Adam B. Masters
  • John Uhr

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Political Leadership book series (PSPL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Adam B. Masters, John Uhr
    Pages 1-15
  3. Adam B. Masters, John Uhr
    Pages 17-30
  4. Adam B. Masters, John Uhr
    Pages 47-63
  5. Adam B. Masters, John Uhr
    Pages 65-80
  6. Adam B. Masters, John Uhr
    Pages 81-101
  7. Adam B. Masters, John Uhr
    Pages 103-117
  8. Adam B. Masters, John Uhr
    Pages 119-134
  9. Adam B. Masters, John Uhr
    Pages 135-146
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 147-153

About this book


‘Words are actions, and leaders know it.  This thought-provoking study sheds light on the rhetorical battles that have shaped Australia’s recent political history – and it’s a cracking good read to boot.’ – Dr Dennis Grube, University of Cambridge, UK

This book examines both the rhetorical content of contemporary public leadership and the leadership methods pioneered by early English statesman Sir Francis Bacon. In particular, it considers the use of public rhetoric to defend leadership legitimacy in six case studies, drawing on leadership contests in recent Australian political history. The authors map out the complex language of leadership in contemporary politics through chapter-length portraits of the inter-related political rhetoric of prime ministers Rudd, Gillard, Abbott and Turnbull, plus former foreign minister Bob Carr and indigenous leader Noel Pearson. The process is a novel application of leadership analysis derived from the political philosophy of Francis Bacon, who emerges as a founder of the study, and indeed practice, of political and public leadership. The book will appeal to students and scholars across the fields of political science, communication and rhetorical studies, and political history.


Sir Francis Bacon leadership methods contemporary public leadership leadership legitimacy rhetoric used by political leaders contemporary Australian political history rhetoric of Tony Abbott rhetoric of Malcolm Turnbull rhetoric of Julia Gillard rhetoric of Bob Carr rhetoric of Kevin Rudd rhetoric of Noel Pearson Australian politics Australian prime ministers language of political leaders James Bryce's Modern Democracies gender politics political leadership leadership performance and rhetoric

Authors and affiliations

  • Adam B. Masters
    • 1
  • John Uhr
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Sociology, Transnational Research Institute on CorruptionAustralian National UniversityActonAustralia
  2. 2.School of Politics and International Relations, Centre for the Study of Australian PoliticsAustralian National UniversityActonAustralia

Bibliographic information