1st Edition

Complex Political Decision-Making Leadership, Legitimacy and Communication

    236 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    236 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Political and societal elites are increasingly confronted with complex environments in which they need to take collective decisions. Decision-makers are faced with policy issues situated at different intertwined levels which need to be negotiated with different actors. The negotiation and decision-making processes raise issues of legitimacy, leadership and communication. Modern societal systems are not only affected by horizontal specialization and diversity but also by a vertical expansion of governance layers. The national level is no longer the sole, or even the most important, level of governance. In these complex environments, cognitive abilities and personalities of political and societal elites have gained importance.

    This book addresses the impact of an increasingly complex environment on the legitimacy and transparency of polities, on the role of leadership and political personality and on motivated images, rhetoric and communication. Examining how these issues interact at the macro and theoretical level, the types of problems decision-makers face and how they communicate ideas with their audiences, it brings together leading experts in political psychology, law and political science to bridge the gap in the way these disciplines explore the issue of complex decision-making.


    Peter Bursens, Christ’l De Landtsheer, Luc Braeckmans and Barbara Segaert

    Part I: Complex Decision Making and Legitamcy

    1. Covert Integration of Core State Powers: Renegotiating Incomplete Contracts

    Adrienne Héritier

    2. Patterns of Covert Integration in EU Governance. Response to Adrienne Héritier

    Dirk De Bièvre and Peter Bursens

    3. Collective Decision Making within the European Union’s Legislative Competences: A Need for Change?

    Maaike Geuens

    4. Diversity and Democratic Legitimacy in the EU: What Can We Learn from Other Federal Systems?

    Matthias Vileyn and Peter Bursens

    5. Controlling Covert Integration in EU Politics

    Johan Adriaensen and Evelyn Coremans

    Part II: Complex Decision Making and Leadership

    6. Leaders under Stress: Does Cognitive Ability Affect Career Stability?

    Peter Suedfeld

    7. Is Complexity a Stable Personality Construct Component or Is It (Just) a Matter of Style and Propaganda? Response to Peter Suedfeld

    Christ’l De Landtsheer

    8. Political Personality and Complex Decision Making: The Psychological Profile and Leadership Style of Angela Merkel, the World’s Most Powerful Woman

    Jurriaan Middelhoff, Petronella Schijvenaars and Christ’l De Landtsheer

    Part III: Complex Decision Making and Communication 

    9. Collective Decision Making in Complex Matters: Decision-making Processes at an International Level

    Richard Herrmann

    10. The Ukranian Crisis Revisited. Response to Richard Herrmann

    Tom Sauer

    11. Politics, It Has Never Been So Simple. Complex versus Simplistic Rhetoric and the Use of Hyperbole in Political Decision-making in the Netherlands

    Lieuwe Kalkhoven and Christ’l De Landtsheer

    Complex Political Decision Making: Leadership, Legitimacy and Communication

    Christ’l De Landtsheer and Peter Bursens


    Peter Bursens is Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political Science of the University of Antwerp, Belgium. He also teaches at the Antwerp Management School and at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and holds a Jean Monnet Chair ad personam from the European Commission.

    Christ'l De Landtsheer is Professor at the Department of Communication of the University of Antwerp, Belgium. She has taught at numerous institutions across Europe, Russia, the United States and China. Her interests are in the psychology of politics and political personality, as well as political rhetoric and metaphor.

    Luc Braeckmans is Professor at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, and Chair of the Centre for Andragogy. He is also Director of Academic Affairs of the University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp, Belgium.

    Barbara Segaert is Scientific Coordinator at the University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp, Belgium.