Tuesday, 13 March 2018 10:46

The charismatic leadership of the ECB presidency: A language-based analysis

P. Pansardi, P.D. Tortola, in European Journal of Political Research, published online on 12 March 2018

ABSTRACT. There is little doubt that the European Central Bank (ECB), and in particular its presidency, has taken the lead in tackling the euro crisis. But can this leadership be also characterised as charismatic? This article answers the question by focusing on language – a key component as well as a reliable indicator of charisma. By means of a software‐assisted content analysis of the entire corpus of ECB presidential speeches, it is found that the crisis has indeed led to the emergence of the Bank's presidency as a charismatic euro leader. This in turn confirms the recent politicisation of the ECB, but at the same time might be seen as mitigating the problems related to the Bank's democratic deficit, to the extent that charisma can be seen, from a Weberian standpoint, as an alternative source of political legitimacy.

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