Leading Through Positive Emotions: The Case of the Mayor of Lugano Marco Borradori

The aim of this paper is to study the role of local political leadership and the use of emotions and rationality in public communication by focusing on the case study of Marco Borradori.


A SSAS-Yearbook Paper by Giulia Curti, Marco Meneguzzo, Alessandro Sancino and Santhosh Mannamplackal

The participation and the popular emotions shown by citizens from any political positioning after the death of Onorevole Borradori makes him an interesting character for studying the role of emotions in local political leadership.

The research question this paper tries to address is the following: how do Mayors use emotions and rationality in public communication? Our main research hypothesis is that the drivers of public leadership have moved from the use of messages based on a technical-administrative rationality towards the use of emotional messages driven by the peculiarities of the social media logic.

In particular, the paper analyzes through the use of sentiment analysis the speeches and official statements by the Mayor of Lugano Attorney Marco Borradori in the period 2013–2018 and identifies the different types of emotions used. Results are complemented with several interviews conducted with key collaborators of Onorevole Marco Borradori.

Link to Journal-Website.