Political Leadership: Towards a General Analysis

Strengthening ethical political leadership for sustainable peace and social justice in Africa
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What we have set out to dispute is the idea that such characteristics are inherent in the very nature of followership. Today, when I received AN propaganda my relatively positive judgement became really negative for two reasons: - Because it says that too much environmentalism can be bad and it represents communism as the devil in the world, as if Fascism was positive. T h e y t h u s p l u m p for leaders w h o have the characteristics appropriate to the situation — and these leaders happen to be found at particular points in the birth order of the family. The role of political leadership past and present. This is why external pressure, often contrived, m a y be a means of 'pulling the country together' by reducing the pressure of those w h o wish to bring a b o u t c h a n g e. M o r e o v e r , we k n o w 'instinctively' that there are institutional consequences, ramifications — tentacles of t h a t p o s i t i o n , so to speak — which give t h e h o l d e r s o m e influence in the polity. Content Analysis of all Diary Entries [ TOP ] Drawing on the thematic investigations above, we defined a series of general coding criteria and also a series of specific criteria for allocation of instances to our three analytic categories.

Archived from the original on George Elinor Ostrom Fritz W. Namespaces Article Talk.

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Views Read Edit View history. The dilemma of rise accords with the principle whereby national interests are defined by national strength, as previously discussed. Meanwhile, this corollary also follows the assumption of the zero-sum nature of power. The more overseas interests a rising state acquires, the more conflicts with other states it must face. All realists assume that uneven development of national comprehensive strength between states is a law of nature. Based on the uneven development assumption, moral realism develops two corollaries:.

Among the four, political strength is operational and the other three are resources that can play a role in international politics only when they are exploited by political elements, mainly governments. Political strength is composed of ideology, strategy, political will, political system, governmental institution and so on, but all relate to governments run by politicians.

Therefore, moral realism regards political leadership as the key element of political strength. Both political leadership and culture are soft strengths, but the former plays the active role and the latter only a passive role. If a state is small but the achievements of its government are significant, the state will become significant. When the Soviet government announced its demise it still had a much stronger military, economy, and cultural purchase than most countries. Its collapse was due to the reduction to zero of its political leadership, whereby all resource elements of strength stopped functioning.

Although the strength of the American economy and military kept growing from to , its comprehensive strength went into a relative decline. Thus, changes in international configurations are caused not only by the rise and fall of their material strength, but also influenced by increases and decreases in their alliances.

Leading powers with high strategic credit are able to both establish and expand unbreakable alliances, and vice versa. How can a ruler demonstrate his benevolence if he does not show mercy to those coming over to pledge allegiance?

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How can a ruler prove his morality without demonstration of his authority and benevolence? Without morality, how can he be the head of an alliance? Corollaries 4 : Under the anarchical international system all states engage in self-help for their own security, but adopt different strategies to pursue security.

Realism assumes that states can rely on no one but themselves for security due to the absence of organizations in the anarchical international society legally monopolizing military force. The security dilemma thus becomes inevitable. Moral realism has a different view on the functions of states from Waltz, who asserts that there is no functional differentiation among states. National politics consists of differentiated units performing specified functions. Take America, Japan and the Vatican as examples. Moral realism argues that it is necessary to distinguish categories of states in order to understand why the change of world leading power may lead to the change of international norms, and even of the international system.

Their transitions are driven by the changing types of dominant states. In those two periods the dominant states were different in character, thus they established different international norms before and after WWII. For instance, annexation was a common norm in the former period and became prohibited in the latter one. Differing from offensive realism, moral realists assert that different types of states will adopt different security strategies.

Offensive realists argue that all great powers have to employ offensive strategy to maintain their dominant positions in the anarchical international system. Suspicious of this logic, moral realists believe there is more than one strategy through which a great power can obtain or maintain its dominance, just as doctors may use either Chinese herbal medicine or modern medical treatment to cure the same disease.

Moral realists agree that offensive strategies are popularly adopted by great powers in our history, but are not the only availability. In any given age the leading power will be faced with an international system, international norms, and military technology different from those of the previous age. It has more chance of improving its power through a newly invented strategy than by copying the existing ones. Inter-state society is an anarchical system wherein weak and small states cannot survive through their own limited military capability.

They therefore often entrust their security to a great power or a military organization. To believe that moral realism regards all use of military force as immoral action would be a misconception. On the contrary, moral realism suggests that absolute non-use of military forces is an immoral principle. When a dominant power adopts absolute non-use of military forces, therefore, it is no different from not undertaking the responsibility to maintain international security and justice. Consequently, in the eyes of other states this kind of leading power has neither morality nor strategic credibility.

The shift of the centre of the world has occurred several times over the past five centuries, and power transition is one of the most important subjects in IR studies. Moral realism attempts to explain the reason why, under certain conditions, a rising state can win in a competition against the dominant state which is the stronger of the two and has more powerful material strength.

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What is happening in this century is that China is reducing its power disparity with the US, which is regarded as much better than China in many respects, including political system, ideology, technology, education, economy, and military. Moral realists try to develop a new paradigm to explain this phenomenon by attributing political leadership to the transition of world power from a dominant state to a rising state.

The following sections will discuss the relations among types of political leadership, international strategic credibility, international norms, and the international order. During the Cold War, political scientists carried out many studies on types of political leadership and their impact on policymaking. Robert H. Jackson and Carl G. Drawing insights from their opinion, moral realism suggests that a rising state wins the strategic competition against a dominant power mainly because its political leadership is of a different type and also stronger than that of its rival.

Moral realism suggests that foreign strategy is determined by two factors: objective strategic interests, and subjective perceptions. Because political leadership is a part of political strength, moral realism defines the strength as a quiescent condition, namely, the level of national strength will not change as soon as the type of political leadership does. Meanwhile, moral realism defines political leadership as a dynamic state, namely the type of a given state may change while the level of national strength remains the same.

Thus, different types of political leadership will prefer different foreign strategies on the condition of similar strength. In terms of foreign policymaking, strategic decisions are made by a leading group of policymakers rather than just the supreme leader. Nevertheless, in most cases the supreme leader represents the type of leading body of policymaking. Moral realism hence judges the type of a given political leadership by the policymaking of a state leader, rather than by his personality or individuality.

Figure 2 shows that moral realism is a binary theory, with comprehensive strength and political leadership as the two independent variables. States could be categorized into four classes in accordance with their comprehensive strength, namely, dominant states, rising states, regional states, and small states. For instance, the tributary system in East Asia has existed for more than years without substantial contact with other parts of the world, due to backward transportation technology.

It is thus reasonable to regard Ancient East Asia as an independent inter-state system. During the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China five hegemons successively established themselves, each of whom obtained dominant positions in that system in different periods. The Soviet Union of the s and contemporary China are typical rising states. Today, Germany and Brazil are deemed as regional powers, and India and South Africa as sub-regional powers.

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It is important to note that all the above categories are based on the relative strength, rather than absolute strength, of states. For example, Canada and Australia are generally equal in terms of strength, but the former lacks regional influence compared with the latter due to their different geopolitical status. Canada is a small state because it is a weak neighbour of the US, the sole superpower, while Australia is a regional power in Oceania because its strength is greater than that of all of its neighbours in the continent of Oceania. Based on the above categories of state strength, both dominant and rising states will define their top strategic interest as the dominant influence within an independent inter-state system; regional powers only keep a watchful eye on the dominance in their particular region; and small states just pay attention to their own survival interests.

Political leadership could be categorized into four types: inactive, conservative, proactive, and aggressive. As disciples of economic determinism, they count economic benefits as the supreme national interest, and view economic strength as the foundation of comprehensive strength. They are disciples of political determinism, and believe in the philosophy of human effort as the decisive factor. They attribute the rise and fall of states to national political leadership rather than anything else. Figure 3 illustrates the values of the four key variables in moral realist theory.

Because each of the strategic and political perceptions has four values, there are totally 16 strategic preferences based on the combinations of interests and political perceptions.

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The four types of leadership can be applied to explain the relationship between the strategy preferences and leadership types of states at all levels of national strength. However, moral realist theory is developed mainly to explain why a rising state can replace a hegemon.

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Thus the following section will focus only on the strategic preferences of rising states with different political leaderships.