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" in the western world, but differs from a "warlord" and commonly lacks the negative connotations especially in some Eastern European and Central Asian countries.

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 local 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]
 Algeria Houari Boumediene[5]
 Algeria Chadli Bendjedid
 Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika[6]
 Angola José Eduardo dos Santos[7]
 Argentina Juan Perón[8]
 Argentina Jorge Rafael Videla[9]
 Argentina Leopoldo Galtieri[10]
 Armenia Garegin Nzhdeh[11]
 Armenia Vazgen Sargsyan[12]
 Austria Engelbert Dollfuss[13]
 Austria Kurt Schuschnigg[14]
 Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev[15]
 Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev[16]
 Bangladesh Ziaur Rahman[17]
 Bangladesh Hussain Muhammad Ershad[18]
 Belarus Alexander Lukashenko[19]
 Benin Mathieu Kérékou[20]
 Bolivia Hugo Banzer[21]
 Bolivia Evo Morales[22]
 Brazil Getúlio Vargas[23]
 Brazil Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco
 Brazil Artur da Costa e Silva
 Brazil Emílio Garrastazu Médici
 Brazil Ernesto Geisel
 Bulgaria Georgi Dimitrov
 Bulgaria Todor Zhivkov[24]
 Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré[25]
 Burma Ne Win[26]
 Burma Than Shwe[27]
 Burundi Michel Micombero[28]
 Burundi Jean-Baptiste Bagaza[29]
 Burundi Pierre Buyoya[30]
 Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza[31]
 Cambodia Lon Nol[32]
 Cambodia Pol Pot[33]
 Cambodia Hun Sen[34]
 Cameroon Ahmadou Ahidjo[35]
 Cameroon Paul Biya[36]
 Central African Republic Jean-Bedel Bokassa[37]
 Central African Republic Francois Bozize[38]
 Central African Republic Michel Djotodia[37]
 Chad Hissène Habré[39]
 Chad Idriss Deby[40]
 Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov[41]
 Chile Augusto Pinochet[42]
 People's Republic of China Mao Zedong[43]
 People's Republic of China Deng Xiaoping[43]
 People's Republic of China Xi Jinping[44]
 Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek[45]
 Republic of China Chiang Ching-kuo[46]
 Colombia Gustavo Rojas Pinilla[47]
 Republic of the Congo Denis Sassou-Nguesso[48]
 Democratic Republic of the Congo Laurent-Désiré Kabila[49]
 Croatia Ante Pavelić[50]
 Croatia Franjo Tudjman[51]
 Cuba Gerardo Machado[52]
 Cuba Fulgencio Batista[53]
 Cuba Fidel Castro[54]
 Cuba Raúl Castro[55]
 Czechoslovakia Klement Gottwald[56]
 Czechoslovakia Antonín Novotný[57]
 Czechoslovakia Gustáv Husák[58]
 Djibouti Hassan Gouled Aptidon[59]
 Djibouti Ismaïl Omar Guelleh[60]
 Dominican Republic Rafael Trujillo[61]
 Ecuador José María Velasco Ibarra[62]
 Ecuador Rafael Correa[63]
 Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser[64]
 Egypt Anwar Sadat[65]
 Egypt Hosni Mubarak[66]
 Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi[67]
 England Oliver Cromwell[68]
 Equatorial Guinea Francisco Macías Nguema[69]
 Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo[70]
 Eritrea Isaias Afewerki[71]
 Estonia Konstantin Päts[72]
 Ethiopia Mengistu Haile Mariam[73]
 Ethiopia Meles Zenawi[74]
 Fiji Frank Bainimarama[75]
 Finland Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim[76]
 Finland Urho Kekkonen[77]
 France Napoleon[78]
 France Philippe Pétain[79]
 France Charles de Gaulle[80]
 Gabon Omar Bongo[81]
 Gambia Dawda Jawara[82]
 Gambia Yahya Jammeh[83]
 Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze[84]
 German Empire Otto von Bismarck[85]
 German Empire Erich Ludendorff[86]
 Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler[87]
 East Germany Walter Ulbricht[88]
 East Germany Erich Honecker[89]
 West Germany Konrad Adenauer[90]
 West Germany Helmut Kohl[91]
 Ghana Kwame Nkrumah[92]
 Ghana Jerry John Rawlings[93]
 Greece Ioannis Metaxas[94]
 Greece Georgios Papadopoulos[95]
 Guatemala Jorge Ubico[96]
 Guinea Ahmed Sékou Touré[97]
 Guinea Lansana Conté[98]
 Guinea Moussa Dadis Camara[99]
 Guyana Forbes Burnham[100]
 Haiti Paul Magloire[101]
 Haiti Francois Duvalier[102]
 Haiti Jean-Claude Duvalier[103]
 Honduras Tiburcio Carías Andino[104]
 Hungary Miklós Horthy[105]
 Hungary Ferenc Szálasi[72]
 Hungary Mátyás Rákosi[106]
 Hungary János Kádár[107]
 Hungary Viktor Orbán[108]
 India Jawaharlal Nehru[109]
 India Indira Gandhi[110]
 India Narendra Modi[111]
 Indonesia Suharto[112]
 Indonesia Sukarno[113]
 Iran Ruhollah Khomeini[114]
 Iraq Saddam Hussein[115]
 Israel David Ben-Gurion[116]
 Israel Yitzhak Rabin[117]
 Israel Ariel Sharon[118]
 Israel Benjamin Netanyahu[119]
 Italy Francesco Crispi[120]
 Italy Benito Mussolini[121]
 Italy Alcide De Gasperi[122]
 Italy Silvio Berlusconi[123]
 Ivory Coast Félix Houphouët-Boigny[124]
 Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo[125]
 Japan Hideki Tojo[126]
 Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev[127]
 Kenya Jomo Kenyatta[128]
 Kenya Daniel Arap Moi[129]
 Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiyev[130]
 Laos Kaysone Phomvihane
 Latvia Kārlis Ulmanis[131]
 Lebanon Hassan Nasrallah[132]
 Liberia William Tubman[133]
 Liberia William R. Tolbert, Jr.
 Liberia Samuel Doe[134]
 Liberia Charles Taylor[135]
 Libya Muammar Gaddafi[136]
 Lithuania Antanas Smetona[72]
 Macedonia Nikola Gruevski[137]
 Madagascar Didier Ratsiraka[138]
 Malawi Hastings Banda[139]
 Malawi Bingu wa Mutharika[140]
 Malaysia Mahathir bin Mohamad[141]
 Mali Moussa Traoré[142]
 Mauritania Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya[143]
 Mauritania Ely Ould Mohamed Vall[144]
 Mauritania Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz[145]
 Mexico Antonio López de Santa Anna[146]
 Mexico Porfirio Díaz[147]
 Moldova Vladimir Voronin[148]
 Montenegro Milo Đukanović[149]
 Mongolia Khorloogiin Choibalsan[150]
 Nicaragua Anastasio Somoza García[151]
 Nicaragua Anastasio Somoza Debayle[152]
 Nicaragua Daniel Ortega[153]
 Niger Hamani Diori[154]
 Niger Seyni Kountché[155]
 Nigeria Yakubu Gowon[156]
 Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo[157]
 Nigeria Ibrahim Babangida[158]
 Nigeria Sani Abacha[159]
 Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari[160]
 North Korea Kim Il-sung[161]
 North Korea Kim Jong-il[162]
 North Korea Kim Jong-un[163]
 North Vietnam Ho Chi Minh[164]
 North Vietnam Lê Duẩn[165]
 Ottoman Empire Ismail Enver Pasha[166]
 Pakistan Ayub Khan[167]
 Pakistan Yahya Khan[168]
 Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto[169]
 Pakistan Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq[170]
 Pakistan Pervez Musharraf[171]
 Palestine Yasser Arafat[172]
 Panama Omar Torrijos[173]
 Panama Manuel Noriega[174]
 Paraguay Alfredo Stroessner[175]
 Peru Juan Velasco Alvarado[176]
 Peru Alberto Fujimori[177]
 Philippines Emilio Aguinaldo[178]
 Philippines Ferdinand Marcos[179]
 Poland Józef Piłsudski[180]
 Poland Bolesław Bierut[181]
 Poland Edward Gierek
 Poland Wojciech Jaruzelski[182]
 Poland Jarosław Kaczyński[183]
 Portugal António de Oliveira Salazar[184]
 Romania Ion Antonescu[185]
 Romania Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej[186]
 Romania Nicolae Ceaușescu[187]
 Russia Vladimir Putin[188]
 Rwanda Paul Kagame[189]
 El Salvador Maximiliano Hernández Martínez[190]
 Saudi Arabia Abdullah of Saudi Arabia[citation needed]
 Serbia Slobodan Milošević[191]
 Serbia Aleksandar Vučić[192]
 Seychelles France-Albert René[193]
 Sierra Leone Siaka Stevens[194]
 Sierra Leone Foday Sankoh[195]
 Singapore Lee Kuan Yew[196]
Slovakia Jozef Tiso[72]
 Slovakia Vladimír Mečiar[197]
 Slovakia Robert Fico[198]
 Somalia Siad Barre[199]
 Somalia Mohamed Farrah Aidid[200]
South Africa Hendrik Verwoerd[201]
South Africa Balthazar Johannes Vorster[202]
South Africa Pieter Willem Botha[203]
South African Republic Paul Kruger[204]
 South Korea Syngman Rhee[205]
 South Korea Park Chung-Hee[206]
 South Korea Chun Doo-Hwan[207]
 South Vietnam Ngo Dinh Diem[208]
 South Vietnam Dương Văn Minh[209]
 South Vietnam Nguyen Khanh[210]
 South Vietnam Nguyễn Văn Thiệu[citation needed]
 Soviet Union Joseph Stalin[211]
 Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev[212]
 Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev[213]
Spain Spain Miguel Primo de Rivera[214]
 Spain Francisco Franco[215]
 Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa[216]
 Sudan Gaafar Nimeiry[217]
 Sudan Omar al-Bashir[218]
 Suriname Dési Bouterse[219]
 Syria Salah Jadid[220]
 Syria Hafez al-Assad[221]
 Syria Bashar al-Assad[222]
 Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmon[223]
 Thailand Plaek Phibunsongkhram[224]
 Thailand Sarit Thanarat[225]
 Thailand Thanom Kittikachorn[226]
 Thailand Prem Tinsulanonda[227]
 Thailand Prayuth Chan-ocha[228]
 Togo Gnassingbé Eyadema[229]
 Turkey Mustafa Kemal Atatürk[230]
 Turkey İsmet İnönü[231]
 Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan[232]
 Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov[233]
 Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov[234]
 Tunisia Zine El Abidine Ben Ali[235]
 Uganda Idi Amin Dada[236]
 Uganda Milton Obote[237]
 Uganda Yoweri Museveni[238]
 Ukraine Leonid Kuchma[239]
 Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych[240]
 Uruguay Juan María Bordaberry[241]
 Uzbekistan Islam Karimov[242]
 Venezuela Antonio Guzmán Blanco[243]
 Venezuela Juan Vincente Gomez[243]
 Venezuela Marcos Pérez Jiménez[243]
 Venezuela Hugo Chávez[244]
 Venezuela Nicolás Maduro[243]
 Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh[245]
 FR Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević[246]
 SFR Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito[247]
 Zaire Mobutu Sese Seko[248]
 Zambia Kenneth Kaunda[249]
 Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe[250]

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 27 October 2013. 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. 
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