The essential role played by narration in political systems is explored via thirteen case studies of leaders (from five different countries): Reagan, Thatcher, Mitterrand, Kohl, Clinton, Blair, Schröder, Berlusconi, Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy, Merkel, and Renzi. Each of these leaders endeavoured to embody novelty and change. The author skilfully draws upon social science, psychology and neuroscience in order to identify the mechanisms that make storytelling an effective tool for creating emotions and instilling a sense of identity and involvement with narrators/leaders. The text also provides an overview of the evolution of communication, political marketing and electronic media over recent decades. Finally, the book also explores the current narrations proposed by Donald Trump, Matteo Salvini and Emmanuel Macron, highlighting how they impoverish political discourse, reflect the imperatives of entertainment and media logic, and embody the advent of a narcissistic society.
Sofia Ventura teaches Political Science at the University of Bologna and the Guido Carli Free International University for Social Studies (LUISS) in Rome.