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PUPOL ECN’s Online Brown Bag Session: “The Dark Side of Public and Political Leadership”

24th March 2022 17:00 CEST

The PUPOL Early Career Network launches regular informal event series: Online Brown Bag Sessions. Our aim is to create a virtual forum for professionals and scholars with different scientific backgrounds to discuss important ideas and questions. The first topic is the dark side of public and political leadership.

The events of recent years have again summoned the ‘Hitler’s ghost’ (Kellerman) or evoked the ‘Hitler’s problem’ (Ciulla) that is constantly haunting leadership researchers. The literature is often overwhelmed by two high or over-romanticized expectations of leadership covering its negative effects. From time to time, however, critical voices emerge focusing on: baddestructivenarcissisteviltoxic, and too strong leaders. What does make leadership bad? What kind of negative impact can leadership have on society and democratic politics? What is the leader’s role in this? Why do bad leaders rely on ideological, populist, and quasi-religious political cults? What are the characteristics of these cults? What are the responsibilities of the followers in this ‘bad’ or ‘toxic’ relationship?

These issues are particularly important for public and political leadership studies since leaders have to abide by the written and unwritten rules and values of democratic and constitutional regimes. Our invited speakers will help us to answer these questions.

The event is hosted by Rudolf Metz and Institute for Political Science, Centre for Social Sciences, Hungary


Please sign up here for the event link!

The session will take place online via Zoom.

PUPOL Panel: International Leadership Experiences and Perspectives Responding to COVID-19

The panel drew on four researchers with experiences and observations with COVID-19 responses from varied academic research traditions for public leadership insights across four different nations.

  • Liezel Lues, Leadership and the African Disporia in South Africa for COVID-19 [Presentation]
  • Karin Lasthuizen, Ethical Leadership in New Zealand for COVID-19 [Presentation]
  • Alessandro Sancino, Leadership and Public Value in Italy for COVID-19 [Presentation]
  • Rich Callahan, Moderator and Intergovernmental Leadership in the United States for COVID-19

During the discussion, they shared insights and proposed research directions for deepening the understanding of public leadership responding to and preventing future pandemics.

If you missed the panel, you can watch it here: [Video]


Dear Colleagues,


Welcome to the PUPOL monthly newsletter in September 2021. We collected some interesting updates from our field of public and political leadership.

Please send me ( news about events, conferences, special issues, jobs, research funds, your new publications, and other relevant writings. I will share this information in our monthly newsletter and on our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter site.


Deadline for the next newsletter: September 30, 2021


PUPOL news

  • Please join us for the second ‘stop’ on PUPOL Early Career Network on Tour-series, at the Responsible and Sustainable Business Lab (RSB Lab) at Nottingham Trent University in the UK.

The seminar & discussion will take place Monday, September 27th @ 9.00-10.00 BST/10.00-11.00 CEST.

During this seminar, Elme Vivier will introduce the RSB Lab, and specifically its projects and pedagogical work related to leadership and public leadership. This will also be an opportunity for discussion and getting to know you and other early career scholars working in the leadership domain.

This session will take place online, through MS Teams. Please register your interest to attend this event here! You can find the flyer of the event in the attachment!

  • The International Journal of Public Leadership (IJPL), in which many conference papers of PUPOL participants has been published over the last few years, has now been accepted for inclusion into Scopus.

See for more details: [LINK]

This is fantastic news, and is a reflection of the journal’s focus on high quality research, and its contribution to the wider scholarly debate. Congratulations to Professor Richard Callahan (editor) and Dr Tim Mau (associate editor) for their great work as editors of the journal and this major achievement!

Research developments

Some exiting readings for this month:

International Journal of Public Leadership: Volume 17 Issue 3 – Special Issue: Decentering Leadership

Guest Editors: Sarah Ayres, Mark Bevir, Kevin Orr

  • Ayres S, Bevir M and Orr K (2021) Editorial A new research agenda for decentering public leadership. International Journal of Public Leadership 17(3): 209–221. DOI: 10.1108/IJPL-08-2021-114.
  • Ford J and Harding N (2020) Performative seduction: how management consultants influence practices of leadership. International Journal of Public Leadership 17(3): 222–235. DOI: 10.1108/IJPL-07-2020-0062.
  • Harding N (2021) Leadership without “the led”: a case study of the South Wales Valleys. International Journal of Public Leadership 17(3). 236–246. DOI: 10.1108/IJPL-07-2020-0063.
  • Pors JG (2020) Local meaning-making in discursive, embodied and affective registers. International Journal of Public Leadership 17(3). 247–264. DOI: 10.1108/IJPL-06-2020-0053.
  • Bennister M (2021) Navigating three faces of decentred leadership in the UK Parliament. International Journal of Public Leadership 17(3). 265–282. DOI: 10.1108/IJPL-06-2020-0058.
  • Sancino A (2021) Local political leadership: from managerial performances to leaders-hip hop on social media? International Journal of Public Leadership 17(3). 283–297. DOI: 10.1108/IJPL-01-2021-0001.

Call for Paper

Call for papers for a special issue of Public Management Review: Insights for Public Management from Policing

Are you undertaking research on leadership in police or policing? If so, then this call for papers may be of interest to you.

In the past, policing studies have created and developed some important concepts used widely in public leadership and management/public administration, such as co-production, public value, and representative bureaucracy.  However, the links are sporadic rather than sustained, so this special issue is an opportunity to strengthen links and put policing more squarely on the map in terms of public leadership and management theory and research.  Policing can reveal the relationships between citizens and the state in a variety of ways, and raises questions about legitimacy, authority, purpose, value, diversity and inclusion, how services are organised, led and managed, and much more.

Leadership is an important area of policing and brings particular challenges, constraints and opportunities from which the wider public management field can learn.  Papers are sought on a wide range of topics and this clearly includes leadership.  If you wish to write about police or policing leadership, the focus of a paper will be on policing but it will draw out implications for wider understanding of public and political leadership, as relevant to the field of public management/public administration.

The first step is to submit a 500 word abstract rather than a full paper.  The editors are accepting submissions in two tranches, with deadlines of 15 November 2021 and 7 January 2022 (this enables early birds to get started on writing their full paper but otherwise the tranches are equal).  There will be an online workshop for those invited to submit full papers in May 2022, which will be a chance to share and explore ideas.

The editors are happy to informally explore ideas for submissions. The full call for papers is on the Public Management Review website.

  • Jean Hartley, Professor of Public Leadership, Centre for Policing Research and Learning, Open University Business School, The Open University, UK,
  • Edoardo Ongaro, Professor of Public Management, Department of Public Leadership and Social Enterprise, Open University Business School, The Open University,
  • Kathryn Quick, Associate Professor and Chair of the Public and Nonprofit Leadership and Management area, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota,
  • Eckhard Schröter, Professor of Public Administration, German University of the Police, Department of Administrative Sciences,

Informal enquiries about the call for papers to any of the editors or via the administrator, Natalie Rankin,

For more details: [LINK]

edx MOOC Ethical leadership in a changing world

We are proud and excited to announcing that our EdX MOOC on ethical leadership will start on 3 July 2019. We hope you will join us and we look forward to continuing our discussions about ethical leadership in our societies!

Leaders today face pressing demands to address a multitude of global problems and achieve greater sustainability for people, the planet and future generations. This requires a more collaborative, ethical leadership approach. But what does ethical leadership really mean? Learn how to become an ethical business leader in New Zealand’s first-ever ethical leadership MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), offered by Victoria University of Wellington.

Ethical Leadership in a Changing World is a free six-week course on the prestigious edX MOOC platform that will introduce you to the theories and practices of ethical leadership, with a focus on organisations. Through the voices of recognised leaders from New Zealand’s private, public and NGO sectors, you will also hear about the main issues ethical leadership should address.

Individuals, organisations and society all benefit from ethical leadership. Find out how and why this value-based leadership matters to us all.


Announcing the 5th International PUPOL Conference in the hague (NL)

We are looking back on a successful and enjoyable global conference in Wellington, New Zealand, where we welcomed our new members from the Asia Pacific region and beyond!

We are also thrilled to announce that the 5th PUPOL International Conference will take place on 16 and 17 April 2020 in The Hague, the Netherlands, and will be hosted by the Leiden Leadership Centre. The theme of PUPOL2020 is “Leadership in progress. New avenues in studying and developing public and political leadership.” More news will follow soon!