The Journalistic View of Political Leadership in Austria - A Case Study by the Austrian Political Science Association

The Political Leadership Branch of the Austrian Political Science Association (AuPSA) is dedicated to research the phenomena of political leadership and to further encourage the social discourse of political leadership. It aims to promote the idea of political leadership based on current research in order to improve the quality of political leadership in Austria.

The here presented empiric study of political leadership is part of this ambitious endeavor.

It focuses on journalists and their view of and special insight into political leadership.

It was only made possible by the willingness of a number of members of the Section of Political Leadership to donate their time, knowledge and energy.

definition of political leadership

The Section of Political Leadership proposes and is committed to the following definition of political leadership:

"Based on political context political leadership means the volition or ability of an individual or a group to sustainably shape social processes, in adherence to human rights, common good prior to self interest and inclusion of all participants."

Online-presentation (voice over in German) of the above definition of political leadership in detail:

Start prezi by clicking on the display, use the full screen button on the right, to view in more detail and press the play button on the left.


The research project is an empiric study that collects qualitative and quantitative data. It includes 11 qualitative interviews of about 60 minutes with editors in chief/media-executives, 2 focus groups with leading political journalists and a quantitative online survey of Austrian journalists.

The online survey was made possible through SOSCI-Survey an open access software platform (free for scientific research) and the support of Pressclub Concordia.

results and research paper

In case you read German you can find the final research paper, co-authored by me, David F. J. Campbell, Kilian Franer, Jeanette Mueller, Bettina Pepek and Regina M. Jankowitsch, as presented in autumn 2013 here: download final research paper

or read it online: online-file final research paper

or read the paper presented at the AuPSA Day of Political Sciences in Graz, November 2012, about the results of the first part of the research: paper/Day of Political Sciences.

dissemination of results

The results of the qualitative interviews, summarised and analysed, were presented and discussed at the Day of Political Sciences in Graz/Austria, on November 30th 2012. The paper had been written by me, Bettina Pepek and Regina M. Jankowitsch and presented by the then speaker of the Section of Political Leadership Kilian Franer.

Finally on November 25th 2013, we, namely Bettina Pepek, Jeanette Mueller and Kilian Franer, were able to present our study at Pressclub Concordia and I was honoured to represent our research group in the following panel discussion, anchored by Astrid Zimmermann, alongside the renown political scientist Anton Pelinka and the journalist Stefan Kappacher.

Due to the success of this press-event, we were invited by Pressclub Concordia to give another presentation on April 7th 2014 but this time to be aimed at a broad audience. The study was presented by the current speaker of the Branch of Political Leadership Bettina Pepek, and David F. J. Campbell and Jeanette Mueller. The following open forum was chaired by Regina M. Jankowitsch and I was once more elected to take part in the panel discussion, alongside two politicians, Angelika Mlinar and Wolfgang Moizzi, and the journalist Stefan Kappacher.

the research project has been sponsored by:

MA7 - City of Vienna