This ground-breaking and innovative book examines the influence of charisma on power, authority and nationalism. The authors both apply and challenge Max Weber’s concept of ‘charisma’ and integrate it into a broader discussion of other theoretical models.

Using an interdisciplinary approach, leading international scholars draw on a diverse range of cases to analyse charisma in benign and malignant leaderships, as well as the relationship between the cult of the leader, the adulation of the masses and the extension of individual authority beyond sheer power. They discuss idiosyncratic authority and oratory, and they address how political, social and regional variations help explain concepts and policies which helped forge and reformulate nations, national identities and movements. The chapters on particular charismatic leaders cover Abraham Lincoln, Kemal Atatürk, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Gamal Nasser, Jörg Haider and Nelson Mandela.

Political Leadership, Nations and Charisma will appeal to readers who are interested in history, sociology, political communication and nationalism studies.

chapter 1|23 pages


Weber's concept of charismatic domination
ByJohn Breuilly

part I|38 pages

Nations and charisma

chapter 2|13 pages

The charisma of nations

ByAnthony D. Smith

chapter 3|12 pages

Charisma and founding fatherhood

ByDavid Martin

chapter 4|11 pages

Leadership, national character and charisma

ByHedva Ben-Israel

part II|64 pages

The cult of the leader, the role of the masses

chapter 6|18 pages

Abraham Lincoln

The apotheosis of a Republican hero
ByDon H. Doyle

chapter 7|15 pages

Mussolini and Hitler

Charisma, regime, and national catastrophe
ByMacGregor Knox

chapter 8|14 pages

Nasser and the charisma of language

ByVivian Ibrahim

part III|42 pages

Charisma in the present day

chapter 10|16 pages

Talking about Jörg Haider

Enactment of Volksnähe
ByEmo Gotsbachner

chapter 11|10 pages

Madiba magic

Nelson Mandela's charisma
ByElleke Boehmer