Power Shift? Political Leadership and Social Media examines how political leaders have adapted to the challenges of social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and memes, among other means of persuasion. Established political leaders now use social media to grab headlines, respond to opponents, fundraise, contact voters directly, and organize their election campaigns. Leaders of protest movements have used social media to organize and galvanize grassroots support and to popularize new narratives: narratives that challenge and sometimes overturn conventional thinking. Yet each social media platform provides different affordances and different attributes, and each is used differently by political leaders.

In this book, leading international experts provide an unprecedented look at the role of social media in leadership today. Through a series of case studies dealing with topics ranging from Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump's use of Twitter, to Justin Trudeau's use of selfies and Instagram, to how feminist leaders mobilize against stereotypes and injustices, the authors argue that many leaders have found additional avenues to communicate with the public and use power. This raises the question of whether this is causing a power shift in the relationship between leaders and followers. Together the chapters in this book suggest new rules of engagement that leaders ignore at their peril.

The lack of systematic theoretically informed and empirically supported analyses makes Power Shift? Political Leadership and Social Media an indispensable read for students and scholars wishing to gain new understanding on what social media means for leadership.

chapter 1|14 pages

Political Leaders and Social Media

An Introduction

part 1|80 pages

Leaders and the New Instruments of Media Persuasion

chapter 2|16 pages

The President Tweets the Press

President–Press Relations and the Politics of Media Degradation

chapter 3|16 pages

Vulgar Eloquence in the Digital Age

A Case Study of Candidate Donald Trump's Use of Twitter 1

chapter 5|13 pages

The Visually Viral Prime Minister

Justin Trudeau, Selfies, and Instagram

chapter 6|19 pages

Tweeting the Agenda

Policy Making and Agenda Setting by U.S. Congressional Leaders in the Age of Social Media

part 3|92 pages

Social Media and Grassroots Politics

chapter 10|14 pages

'Twitter was Like Magic!'

Strategic Use of Social Media in Contemporary Feminist Activism

chapter 11|20 pages

#Unsettling Canada 150, One Tweet at a Time

How Indigenous Leaders Use Twitter to Resist and Reframe Mainstream News in Canada

chapter 12|15 pages

Fanning Flames of Discontent

A Case Study of Social Media, Populism, and Campaigning

chapter 13|18 pages

Not a Leader!

Theresa May's Leadership Through the Lens of Internet Memes

chapter 14|15 pages

Twitter and Student Leadership in South Africa

The case of #FeesMustFall

chapter |8 pages