The implications of the personalization of politics are necessarily widespread and can be found across many different aspects of contemporary democracies.
Personalization should influence the way campaigns are waged, how voters determine their preferences, how officials (eg MPs) and institutions (eg legislatures and governments) function, and the place and operations of political parties in democratic life.
However, in an effort to quantify the precise degree of personalization over time and to uncover the various causes of personalization, the existing literature has paid little attention to many of the important questions regarding the consequences of personalization.
While the chapters throughout this volume certainly document the extent of personalization, they also seek to address some fundamental questions about the nature of personalization, how it is manifested, and its consequences for political parties, governance, representation, and the state of democracy more generally. Indeed, one of the primary objectives of this volume is to speak to a very broad audience about the implications of personalization.
Those interested in election campaigns, voting, gender, governance, legislative behaviour, and political parties will all find something of value in the contributions that follow.
'At a time when populist politics appears to threaten party government, this important volume explores the impact of the balance between the personal and the partisan in structuring and managing electoral choice and governance. Its sophisticated studies survey the challenges raised by personalism for democratic politics and define a research frontier for those concerned with the future of political parties.'
R. Kenneth Carty, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of British Columbia