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14th July - 10th August 2019

Adult Courses

History, Art History and Culture

Political Seconds: Five Intimate Portraits

For millennia, scholars have sought to answer the question of 'What makes a great leader?' However, very few have asked 'What makes a good deputy leader?' The Whitelaws, Mandelsons and other political deputies have long been influential upon their immediate superiors and, yet, history has largely ignored their contributions. Leaders themselves frequently cite their deputies as key influences upon both decision-making and, similarly, their own longevity. So, what are the common roles and functions of deputies across different political systems and contexts? Should we give more attention to these political bridesmaids, or are they rightly kept in the shadows? All of this, and more, will be explored during a new and vibrant course that examines five close-up accounts of the importance of being second.

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