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]

Country Leader
 Afghanistan Hafizullah Amin[3]
 Albania Enver Hoxha[4]
 Angola José Eduardo dos Santos[5]
 Argentina Juan Perón[6]
 Argentina Jorge Rafael Videla[7]
 Argentina Leopoldo Galtieri[8]
 Armenia Garegin Nzhdeh[9]
 Armenia Vazgen Sargsyan[10]
 Austria Engelbert Dollfuss[11]
 Austria Kurt Schuschnigg[12]
 Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev[13]
 Bangladesh Ziaur Rahman[14]
 Belarus Alexander Lukashenko[15]
 Bolivia Hugo Banzer[16]
 Brazil Getúlio Vargas[17]
 Bulgaria Todor Zhivkov[18]
 Burma Ne Win[19]
 Burma Than Shwe[20]
 Burundi Pierre Buyoya[21]
 Cambodia Hun Sen[22]
 Cambodia Pol Pot[23]
 Cameroon Paul Biya[24]
 Central African Republic Jean-Bedel Bokassa[25]
 Central African Republic Francois Bozize[26]
 Central African Republic Michel Djotodia[25]
 Chad Hissène Habré[27]
 Chad Idriss Deby
 Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov[28]
 Chile Augusto Pinochet[29]
 China Mao Zedong[30]
 China Deng Xiaoping[30]
 China Xi Jinping[31]
 China, Taiwan Chiang Kai-shek[32]
 China, Taiwan Chiang Ching-kuo[33]
 Colombia Gustavo Rojas Pinilla[34]
 Republic of the Congo Denis Sassou-Nguesso[35]
 Croatia Ante Pavelić[36]
 Croatia Franjo Tudjman[37]
 Cuba Fulgencio Batista[38]
 Cuba Fidel Castro[39]
 Cuba Raúl Castro[40]
 Dominican Republic Rafael Trujillo[41]
 Ecuador Rafael Correa[42]
 Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser[43]
 Egypt Hosni Mubarak[44]
 Egypt Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi[45]
 England Oliver Cromwell[46]
 Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo[47]
 Eritrea Isaias Afewerki[48]
 Estonia Konstantin Pats[49]
 Ethiopia Mengistu Haile Mariam[50]
 Ethiopia Meles Zenawi[51]
 Finland Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim[52]
 France Napoleon[53]
 France Philippe Pétain[54]
 France Charles de Gaulle[55]
 Gambia Yahya Jammeh[56]
 German Empire Otto von Bismarck[57]
 Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler[58]
 East Germany Walter Ulbricht[59]
 East Germany Erich Honecker[60]
 Greece Ioannis Metaxas[61]
 Greece Georgios Papadopoulos[62]
 Guyana Forbes Burnham[63]
 Haiti Paul Magloire[64]
 Haiti Francois Duvalier[65]
 Haiti Jean-Claude Duvalier[66]
 Honduras Tiburcio Carías Andino[67]
 Hungary Miklós Horthy[68]
 Hungary Ferenc Szálasi[69]
 Hungary Matyas Rakosi
 Hungary János Kádár[70]
 Hungary Viktor Orbán[71]
 India Jawaharlal Nehru
 India Indira Ghandi
 India Narendra Modi
 Indonesia Suharto[72]
 Indonesia Sukarno[73]
 Iraq Saddam Hussein[74]
 Israel David Ben-Gurion[75]
 Israel Ariel Sharon[76]
 Israel Benjamin Netanyahu[77]
 Italy Francesco Crispi[78]
 Italy Benito Mussolini[79]
 Italy Silvio Berlusconi[80]
 Japan Hideki Tojo[81]
 Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev[82]
 Kenya Jomo Kenyatta
 Kenya Daniel Arap Moi[83]
 Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiyev[84]
 Latvia Kārlis Ulmanis[85]
 Lebanon Hassan Nasrallah[86]
 Libya Muammar Gaddafi[87]
 Lithuania Antanas Smetona[69]
 Malaysia Mahathir bin Mohamad[88]
 Mexico Antonio López de Santa Anna[89]
 Nicaragua Anastasio Somoza García[90]
 Nicaragua Anastasio Somoza Debayle[91]
 Nicaragua Daniel Ortega[92]
 North Korea Kim Il-sung[93]
 North Korea Kim Jong-il[94]
 North Korea Kim Jong-un
 North Vietnam Ho Chi Minh[95]
 North Vietnam Lê Duẩn
 Pakistan Ayub Khan[96]
 Pakistan Yahya Khan[97]
 Pakistan Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq[98]
 Pakistan Pervez Musharraf[99]
 Palestine Yasser Arafat[100]
 Panama Manuel Noriega[101]
 Paraguay Alfredo Stroessner[102]
 Peru Juan Velasco Alvarado[103]
 Peru Alberto Fujimori[104]
 Philippines Emilio Aguinaldo[105]
 Philippines Ferdinand Marcos[106]
 Poland Józef Piłsudski[107]
 Poland Wojciech Jaruzelski[108]
 Poland Jarosław Kaczyński[109]
 Portugal António de Oliveira Salazar[110]
 Rhodesia Ian Smith
 Romania Ion Antonescu[111]
 Romania Nicolae Ceaușescu[112]
 Russia Vladimir Putin[113]
 Rwanda Paul Kagame[114]
 Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Mohamed Abdelaziz
 Serbia Slobodan Milošević[115]
 Singapore Lee Kuan Yew[116]
Slovakia Jozef Tiso[69]
 Slovakia Vladimír Mečiar[117]
South Africa Balthazar Johannes Vorster[118]
South Africa Pieter Willem Botha[119]
 South Korea Syngman Rhee[120]
 South Korea Park Chung-Hee[121]
 South Korea Chun Doo-Hwan[122]
 South Vietnam Ngo Dinh Diem[123]
 Spain Francisco Franco[124]
 Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa[125]
 Sudan Omar al-Bashir[126]
 Suriname Dési Bouterse[127]
 Syria Salah Jadid[128]
 Syria Hafez al-Assad[129]
 Syria Bashar al-Assad[130]
 Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmon[131]
 Thailand Plaek Phibunsongkhram[132]
 Thailand Sarit Thanarat[133]
 Thailand Thanom Kittikachorn[134]
 Thailand Prem Tinsulanonda[135]
 Thailand Prayuth Chan-ocha[136]
 Turkey Mustafa Kemal Atatürk[137]
 Turkey İsmet İnönü[138]
 Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan[139]
 Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov[140]
 Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov[141]
 Tunisia Zine El Abidine Ben Ali[142]
 Tunisia Habib Bourguiba
 Uganda Idi Amin Dada[143]
 Uganda Milton Obote[144]
 Uganda Yoweri Museveni[145]
 Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych[146]
 Soviet Union Joseph Stalin[147]
 Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev[148]
 Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev[149]
 Uruguay Juan María Bordaberry[150]
 Uzbekistan Islam Karimov[151]
 Venezuela Hugo Chávez[152]
 Venezuela Juan Vincente Gomez[153]
 Venezuela Juan Antonio Perez[153]
 Venezuela Antonio Guzmán Blanco[153]
 Venezuela Marcos Pérez Jiménez[153]
 FR Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević[154]
 SFR Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito[155]
 Zaire Mobutu Sese Seko[156]
 Zambia Kenneth Kaunda[157]
 Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe[158]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  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. ^ Sinno, Abdulkader H. (2008). Organizations at War in Afghanistan and Beyond. Cornell University Press. pp. 108. ISBN 0-8014-4618-X. 
  4. ^ Yugoslavia accused Albanian strongman Enver Hoxha Tuesday of trying...
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  45. ^ Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi: Egypt's new strongman
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  60. ^ Caldwell, Peter C.; Shandley, Robert R. (2011). German Unification: Expectations and Outcomes. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-230-33795-4. 
  61. ^ Profile: Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party
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  63. ^ George K. Danns (1 January 1982). Domination and Power in Guyana: A Study of the Police in a Third World Context. Transaction Publishers. pp. 141–. ISBN 978-1-4128-2190-2. 
  64. ^ Haiti: State Against Nation
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  66. ^ Haiti's previous dictator, Jean-Claude Duvalier, fled to France in 1986, supposedly with $120 million. Now he lives in near-poverty--a cautionary figure for his nation's military leaders.
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  76. ^ Ariel Sharon: Israel’s Soldier and Strongman, 1928-2014
  77. ^ Netanyahu's strongman image boosts ratings, countering U.S. rift
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  82. ^ "75th birthday of Kazakhstan strongman raises questions on country's future". Reuters. 4 July 2015. 
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  90. ^ "Daughter of former Nicaraguan strongman dies in Washington". The Miami Herald. May 17, 2003. 
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  125. ^ Former Sri Lankan strongman Rajapaksa aims for a political comeback
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  139. ^ Board, Editorial (3 June 2013). "Prime Minister Erdogan's strongman tactics in Turkey". Washington Post. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  140. ^ "Turkmenistan ex-leader Niyazov's golden statue toppled". BBC News. 26 August 2010. 
  141. ^ Turkmenistan Strongman Erects First Gold Statue to Himself
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  144. ^ "Milton Obote Dies at 80; Strongman in Uganda, Twice Overthrown". New York Times. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
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  150. ^ Uruguay High Court Declares Amnesty Law Unconstitutional
  151. ^ Uzbek strongman re-elected in landslide victory
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  156. ^ 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. 
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