Leadership and the Labour Party

Narrative and Performance

  • John Gaffney

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

About this book


The relationships between narrative and leadership, between rhetoric and performance, between doctrine and its voicing, are crucial to party politics and are underrated by both practising politicians and scholars. This study analyses the ‘performance of leadership’ in the UK Labour Party, and what this means for a new approach to understanding politics. The main focus of this study is the five-year leadership of Ed Miliband, 2010-2015. The fortunes of the party and the party leadership can be apprehended as a series of performed rhetorical events. A political leader’s persona is a construction that performs – rather like an actor – in the political space. The author identifies and analyses the architecture and the modalities of leadership persona construction and performance in contemporary politics.

John Gaffney is Professor of Politics at Aston University, Birmingham, UK and Co-Director of the Aston Centre for Europe.




Leadership Ed Miliband Political Rhetoric Labour Party Narrative

Authors and affiliations

  • John Gaffney
    • 1
  1. 1.Aston UniversityBirminghamUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information