Leadership and Change in Asia-Pacific: Where Does Political Will Come From?

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Editorial | Open Access

Leadership and Change in Asia-Pacific: Where Does Political Will Come From?


  • David Hudson International Development Department, School of Government, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Nicolas Lemay-Hébert Department of International Relations, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University, Australia
  • Claire Mcloughlin International Development Department, School of Government, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Chris Roche Institute for Human Security and Social Change, La Trobe University, Australia


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Abstract:  We introduce this thematic issue by exploring the role of leadership in social and political change. In current times, the importance of leadership and choice has proved as important as ever. Leadership is often the critical variable separating success or failure, legitimacy and sustainability or collapse. This thematic issue explores a range of in-depth case studies across the Asia-Pacific region that help illustrate the critical elements of leadership. Collectively they demonstrate that leadership is best understood as a collective process involving motivated agents overcoming barriers to cooperation to form coalitions that have enough power, legitimacy and influence to transform institutions. Five themes emerge from the thematic issue as a whole: leadership is political; the centrality of gender relations; the need for a more critical localism; scalar politics; and the importance of understanding informal processes of leadership and social change.

Keywords:  Asia-Pacific region; China; Covid-19; developmental leadership; Fiji; India; Indonesia; Papua New Guinea; political will; Solomon Islands

Published:   25 November 2020


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v8i4.3831


© David Hudson. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.