Author Submissions

Call for Papers and Author Guidelines

Call for Papers: Volume 7, Issue 2 on Populism and Leadership

Guest Editors:

Antonio Marturano, University of Rome Tor Vergata
Fabio Tarzia, University of Rome La Sapienza

Rationale for contributors

Populism is the most controversial topic in leadership studies, as it intersects different disciplines, from sociology to political philosophy. Since Donald Trump’s election as US president, and with similar elections results across Europe, populism has, however, ceased to be a mere subject of academic speculation, to become a widely perceived and heatedly debated issue in the society at large.

According to Cas Mudde and Cristobal Rovira Kaltwasser (2014), there is no consensus on the very nature of populism. Some scholars, indeed, argue that all the different instances of populism are characterised by the existence of a charismatic and strong leader, who is able to mobilize the masses and control the political organization behind him or her; others define populism as an ideology or world view that assumes that society is characterized by a Manichean division between ‘the pure people’ and ‘the corrupt elite’ (Michael Kazin, 1995:1).

Finally, a third group of scholars (especially media and social scientists) refer to populism as a peculiar political style, which helps politicians and parties to stay in tune with their constituencies by appealing to emotional clues, employing spin doctors, and advocating simplistic solutions to very complex problems as are the cases of Blairism, in UK (Peter Mair, 2002) Berlusconism, in Italy (Dwayne Woods, 2014) and, today, of Trump in the US (John Foot, 2016). Although a majority of scholarly works focuses on Western European or South American leadership, very little literature engages with Asian leadership.

Theoretical links between leadership and populism are not straightforward: is not, apparently, possible to equate populism with charismatic, authoritarian or paternalistic leadership styles, but as Kurt Weyland (2001:14) has argued, it seems to be a broadly defined political strategy to obtain a larger consensus, based on direct, unmediated, un-institutionalised support from a large mass of unorganised followers.

Manuel Anselmi (2017) argues that populist leadership can even survive to its charismatic leader, as in the case of Chavez’s Venezuela, presenting a challenge to one of the most fundamental dogmas in Leadership Studies, which states a direct relation between leader and his/her followers. Democratic populism is also possible: as Daniele Albertazzi and Duncan McDonnell (2008) argued, populism and democracy are inextricably linked. As Yves Meny and Yves Surel (2002: 19) note, populist parties ‘can also contaminate the other parties by influencing the style of leadership, the type of political discourse and the relationship between leader and followers. This remains, in our view, an under-explored area of study.

The submissions to the special issue will contribute to setting the agenda for this serious and timely discussion in Leadership Studies. Topics to be explored from theoretical as well as practical perspectives include, but are not restricted to, the following:

- Populism and contemporary organizational processes;
- Direct Democracy and Populism;
- Differences and similarities between populism and paternalistic leadership
- Is there an Oriental leadership? What are its characteristics?
- Populism and consumption
- Populism and the birth of “movements” (Occupy Wall Street, M5S, Indignados)
- Difference and similarities between European and US leadership
- Development of populistic leadership in South America
- Trump’s “populism”
- The roots of modern populism in the US
- Charisma and Populist leadership
- Characteristics of Populist leadership in EU countries
- The role of morality in populist leadership
- The followers-leadership relation in populist leadership
- Faith and populist leadership
- Populist leadership with no leader


Albertazzi and McDonnell (2008): “Introduction: The Sceptre and the Spectre”, in Albertazzi and McDonnell (eds.), Twenty-First Century Populism. The Spectre of Western European Democracy, London: Palgrave-MacMillan, pp. 1-11;
Anselmi (2017): “Post-Populism in Latin America: On Venezuela After Chavez”, Chin. Polit. Sci. Rev., published online 03.07.2017, Retrieved 04.07.2017.
Foot (2016): “We’ve seen Donald Trump before – his name was Silvio Berlusconi”, The Guardian, 20/10/2016. Retrieved 3/02/2017.
Kazin (1995): The Populist Persuasion: An American History, Ithaca (NY): Cornell U.P.;
Mair (2002): “Populist Democracy vs Party Democracy”, in Meny and Surel (eds.), Democracies and the Populist Challenge, Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp.81-98;
Meny and Surel (eds.) (2002): Democracies and the Populist Challenge, Basingstoke: Palgrave;
Mudde and Kaltwasser (2014): “Political Leadership and Populism”, in Hart and Rhodes (eds.), Oxford Handbook on Political Leadership, Oxford: Oxford U.P., pp. 377-388;
Weyland (2001): “Clarifying a contested concept: Populism in the study of Latin America politics”, Comparative Politics, 34/1: pp. 1-22;
Woods (2014): “The Many Faces of Populism in Italy: The Northern League and Berlusconism”, in Woods and Wejnert (eds.) The Many Faces of Populism: Current Perspectives (Research in Political Sociology, Volume 22) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.27 - 51

Brief for contributors:

In line with the editorial aims of the journal, this call for papers focuses specifically on the relationship between leadership studies – broadly conceived and populism within a humanist approach. The editors welcome academic papers which are interdisciplinary in character. Contributions may combine wider ethical-political and theoretical questions concerning populism. The special issue, as with other issues of the journal, welcomes material in a variety of formats, including high quality peer-reviewed academic papers, reflections, debates and commentaries on policy and practice, book reviews and review articles. Academic papers should be between 4-7,000 words long. Please consult the style rules laid-out on the journal’s website: All academic papers will be double-blind peer- reviewed in the normal way. 

Procedure and timelines:

1) CFP dissemination 5th July 2017
2) Completed first drafts of papers are due by the 3rd January 2018 must be submitted via email to
2) Authors informed of reviewers feedback by 15th March 2018
3) Second revised version of the manuscripts must be submitted by 15th May 2018
4) Final decision on manuscripts: 1st July 2018
5) Final (revised) versions must be submitted by the 1st September 2018.
6) Papers published in the first issue of Volume 7, 2019.

LATH Submission Guidelines

Articles should be submitted by email as a Word file with no reference to the authors anywhere in the document. The maximum number of words for articles is 9000 (including notes). To facilitate double-blind review, the title page should be without names or affiliations. The covering e-mail should include the author name, affiliation, address and contact information. Please submit your manuscript as a Word file e-mail attachment, with abstract, directed to: Please note that submission of a manuscript to one journal while that manuscript is under review by any other journal is regarded as unacceptable.

All Book Reviews should be prepared in accordance with the guidelines (see below). US book review submissions should be sent to:; Asia book review submissions should be sent to:; Europe Book review submissions should be sent to:; Australia book review submissions should be sent to:

LATH Book Review Guidelines

Terms of Publication

LATH Contributor Agreement