Strongman (politics)

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A strongman is a political leader who rules by force and runs an authoritarian regime. The term is often used interchangeably with "dictator", but differs from a "warlord".

A strongman is not necessarily always a formal head of state or head of government; sometimes journalists use the term to describe a military or political figure who exercises far more influence over the government than a constitution allows. General Manuel Noriega, for example, was often dubbed the "Strongman of Panama" for the enormous amount of political power he exercised over Panama, despite the fact that he was not the formal president of the state.

Similarly, not every discussion of "strong leadership"[1] (or every promise to provide such[2]) envisages rule by a strongman.

Political figures referred to as "strongmen"[edit]

Name References Country
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan [3][4][5] Turkey
Isaias Afewerki [6] Eritrea
Omar al-Bashir [7] South Sudan
Dési Bouterse [8] Suriname
Pierre Buyoya [9] Burundi
Fidel Castro [10] Cuba
Hugo Chávez [11][12][13] Venezuela
Rafael Correa [14] Ecuador
Deng Xiaoping [15] China
Francisco Franco [16] Spain
Muammar Gaddafi [17] Libya
Ramzan Kadyrov [18] Russia
Paul Kagame [19] Rwanda
Kim Jong-il [20] North Korea
Lee Kuan Yew [21] Singapore
Mao Zedong [15] China
Ferdinand Marcos [22] Philippines
Mobutu Sese Seko [23] Congo
Mahathir bin Mohamad [24][25] Malaysia
Daniel Arap Moi [26] Kenya
Hosni Mubarak [27] Egypt
Robert Mugabe [28] Zimbabwe
Pervez Musharraf [29][30] Pakistan
Napoleon [31] France
Manuel Noriega [32] Panama
Park Chung-hee [33][34] South Korea
Augusto Pinochet [35] Chile
Chiang Kai-shek [36] ROC/Taiwan
Vladimir Putin [37][38] Russia
Syngman Rhee [39] South Korea
Denis Sassou-Nguesso [40] Congo
Hun Sen [41] Cambodia
Joseph Stalin [42] Soviet Union
Franjo Tudjman [43] Croatian
Rafael Trujillo [44] Dominican Republic

References[edit]

  1. ^ For example: Sinclair, Barbara (1992). "The Emergence of Strong Leadership in the 1980s House of Representatives". The Journal of Politics 54 (03): 657-684. doi:10.2307/2132306. Retrieved 2013-10-27. "An explanation for the emergence of strong leadership is offered and tested. I argue that, during the period under study, the costs and benefits to majority party members of strong leadership changed significantly." 
  2. ^ See for example: Rao, Mumtaz Hamid, ed. (May 2010). "David Cameron takes the reins in UK; Vows strong leadership". Pakistan Times (Islamabad). Pakistan Times UK Bureau. ISSN 1729-7915. Retrieved 2013-10-27. "Prime Minister David Cameron has said the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition will be united to give Britain a strong and stable leadership for the long term.[...] 'And it will be an administration united behind one key purpose and that is to give our country the strong and stable and determined leadership that we need for the long term.' [...] New Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled more details of his historic coalition on Wednesday, vowing "strong" government after ending 13 years of Labour rule. [...] New Foreign Secretary William Hague insisted the coalition agreement [...] would stand the test of time. [...] 'It will be a strong government,' said Hague." 
  3. ^ Board, Editorial (3 June 2013). "Prime Minister Erdogan's strongman tactics in Turkey". Washington Post. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Turkish strongman under corruption cloud". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Robert Fisk: Has Recep Tayyip Erdogan gone from model Middle East 'strongman' to tin-pot dictator?". Ammon News. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  6. ^ wadanka - The bad boy of the Horn of Africa: How Eritrea’s strongman uses Kenya as a terror finance hub
  7. ^ http://www.freedomhouse.org/article/freedom-house-condemns-sudanese-government%E2%80%99s-killing-12-during-protests
  8. ^ "Suriname: The Dictator Who Came In From The Cold". Time. 12 August 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  9. ^ McKinley Jr, James C. (19 September 1996). "Despite Strongman's Vow, Burundi Strife Grows". New York Times. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Castro: Clinton-Obama ticket 'invincible'". CNN. 28 August 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Delacour, Justin. "The Op-Ed Assassination of Hugo Chávez". Fair.org. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  12. ^ "Hugo Chavez to make himself president for life". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  13. ^ The Castro in Caracas: Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, in Fidel's image | National Review | Find Articles at BNET.com[dead link]
  14. ^ "Tirano Correa". ElColombiano.com. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Xiang, Lanxin (20 April 2012). "Bo Xilai probe shows up China's outdated system of government". South China Morning Post
  16. ^ Joy Hakim (2002). War, Peace, and All That Jazz. Oxford University Press. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-19-515335-4. 
  17. ^ "The Wall Street Journal Online – Featured Article". Opinionjournal.com. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  18. ^ Parfitt, Tom (21 May 2013). "Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov welcomes Gerard Depardieu and Elizabeth Hurley to Grozny". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  19. ^ "World | Africa | Profile: Rwanda's strongman". BBC News. 25 January 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  20. ^ "Is North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il ready to trade away his growing nuclear arsenal, or is he just playing for time? – US News and World Report". Usnews.com. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  21. ^ [1][dead link]
  22. ^ Ferdinand Marcos
  23. ^ Daniszewski, John; Simmons, Ann M. (8 September 1997). "Ex-Dictator Mobutu Dies In Exile -- Brutal Strongman Became Rich As Zaire Descended Into Poverty". Seattle Times. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  24. ^ TIMEasia Magazine: Malaysia – The Last of the Strongmen[dead link]
  25. ^ "Malaysia crisis | Profile: Malaysia's strongman Mahathir". BBC News. 10 November 1999. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  26. ^ Phombeah, Gray (5 August 2002). "Moi's legacy to Kenya". BBC News. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  27. ^ Hardy, Roger (11 February 2011). "Middle East after Hosni Mubarak: impact of a revolution". BBC. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  28. ^ Graham K. Brown; Arnim Langer (2013). Elgar Handbook of Civil War and Fragile States. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 387. ISBN 978-1-84844-842-1. 
  29. ^ CBC.ca[dead link]
  30. ^ William Mervin Gumede (2007). Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC. Zebra. p. 174. ISBN 978-1-77007-099-8. 
  31. ^ Claus Telp (2005). The Evolution Of Operational Art, 1740-1813: From Frederick The Great To Napoleon. Frank Cass. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7146-5722-6. 
  32. ^ "Manuel Noriega Biography". Notablebiographies.com. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  33. ^ Sang-Hun, Choe (20 August 2012). "Ex-Dictator’s Daughter Nominated for South Korean Presidency". New York Times. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  34. ^ "Chung Il Kwon; Ex-South Korea Leader". Los Angeles Times. 20 January 1994. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  35. ^ "People's Daily Online – Pinochet, long-time strongman in Chile, dies at 91". People's Daily. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  36. ^ "Taiwan tosses Chiang Kai-shek statues to shed authoritarian past". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  37. ^ Hiatt, Fred (24 December 2007). "Myth of the Strongman". The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  38. ^ Angus Roxburgh (2012). The Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the Struggle for Russia. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-78076-016-2. 
  39. ^ Monday, 30 June 1952 (30 June 1952). "Strongman Syngman". TIME. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  40. ^ "As Zimbabwe Goes...". The Nation. 8 April 2002. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  41. ^ "ASIA-PACIFIC | Cambodia strongman gives election pledge". BBC News. 29 April 1998. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  42. ^ Monday, 2 April 1956 (2 April 1956). "The Quick & the Dead". TIME. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  43. ^ Jelacic, Nerma (14 November 1999). "Croat Strongman Nears Death". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  44. ^ "DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Strongman's Whimsy". TIME Magazine. January 19, 1953.