Two routes to personalized politics: Centralized and decentralized personalization

Meital Balmas*, Gideon Rahat, Tamir Sheafer, Shaul R. Shenhav

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


This article describes two opposing types of political personalization: centralizing and decentralizing personalization. The first implies the centralization of political power in the hands of a few leaders, while the latter indicates a diffusion of group power among its components: individual politicians. We start by proposing definitions of the types and subtypes of centralized and decentralized personalization and review the literature in search of evidence of their occurrence. We then demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed typology by examining personalization trends in various aspects of Israeli politics and conclude with a discussion of the challenges that personalization set for liberal democracies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)37-51
Number of pages15
JournalParty Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Israel
  • candidates
  • party leaders
  • selecting leaders


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