Modern Leaders: Between Charisma and Trickery: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Modern Leaders: Between Charisma and Trickery

1st Edition

Edited by Agnes Horvath, Arpad Szakolczai, Manussos Marangudakis


304 pages

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Hardback: 9780367333669
pub: 2020-07-27
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This book considers the current striking rise of ‘outsider’ political leaders, catapulted, apparently, from nowhere, to take charge of a nation. Arguing that such leaders can be better understood with the help of the anthropologically based concept of ‘the trickster’, it offers studies of contemporary political figures from the world stage - including Presidents Macron, Tsipras and Bolsonaro, among others - to examine the ways in which charismatic and trickster modalities can become intertwined, especially under the impact of theatrical public media. Looking beyond the commonly invoked notion of ‘charisma’ to revisit the question of political leadership in light of the recent rise of new type of ‘outsider’ leaders, Modern Leaders: Between Charisma and Trickery offers an account of leadership informed by social and anthropological theory. As such, it will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in political thought and the problem of political leadership.

Table of Contents


Agnes Horvath, Arpad Szakolczai, and Manussos Marangudakis

Part 1: On Charis and Charisma

1. Beyond Charisma: Catacombing Sensual Governance by a Painful Breaking of Human Ties

Agnes Horvath

2. Charisma: From Divine Gift to the Democratic Leader-shop

Camil F. Roman

Part 2: Plato’s Statesman

3. The Virtues of Leadership: Beyond the Pleasure Principle

Arpad Szakolczai

4. Constituting Power: Plato’s Weaving of Human Emotions

Harald Wydra

5. Plato’s Statesman: Defending Phronesis from Coding

John O’Brien

Part 3: Contemporary Case Studies

6. A Study in Charisma and Trickery: The Case of Alexis Tsipras and SYRIZA

Manussos Marangudakis

7. The Trickster Logic in Latin-America: Leadership in Argentina and Brazil

Osvaldo Javier López Ruiz, Fabiana Augusta Alves Jardim and Ana Lúcia Teixeira

8. Political Leadership in Contemporary France: The Case of Emmanuel Macron

Helen Drake

9. The Failure of Democracy in Italy: From Berlusconi to Salvini

Daniel Gati

10. Viktor Orbán’s Leadership: The Prince, the Political Father, and the Doomed Trickster

Zoltán Balázs

11. Duplicity, Corruption and Exceptionalism in the Romanian Experience of Modernity

Marius Ion Bența

Concluding Comments

Agnes Horvath, Arpad Szakolczai, and Manussos Marangudakis

About the Editors

Agnes Horvath is a founding and chief editor of International Political Anthropology. She taught in Hungary, Ireland and Italy, and was affiliate visiting scholar and supervisor at Cambridge University. She is the author of Modernism and Charisma, the co-author of The Dissolution of Communist Power: The Case of Hungary, Walking into the Void: A Historical Sociology and Political Anthropology of Walking, and The Political Sociology and Anthropology of Evil: Tricksterology, and the co-editor of Breaking Boundaries: Varieties of Liminality, Walling, Boundaries and Liminality, and Divinization and Technology: The Political Anthropology of the Subversive.

Arpad Szakolczai is Professor of Sociology at University College Cork, Ireland, and previously taught Social Theory at the European University Institute in Florence. He is the author of Max Weber and Michel Foucault: Parallel Life-Works, Reflexive Historical Sociology, The Genesis of Modernity, Sociology, Religion and Grace: A Quest for the Renaissance, Comedy and the Public Sphere, Novels and the Sociology of the Contemporary, and Permanent Liminality and Modernity, and the co-author of Walking into the Void: A Historical Sociology and Political Anthropology of Walking, From Anthropology to Social Theory: Rethinking the Social Sciences, and The Political Sociology and Anthropology of Evil: Tricksterology.

Manussos Marangudakis is Professor of Comparative Cultural Sociology at the University of the Aegean, Greece. He received his PhD at McGill University, Canada, and has held posts at Queen’s University in Belfast and the University of Ulster. His recent book publications include The Greek Disaster and its Cultural Origins, Greek Anarchism as a Religious Phenomenon, European Social Thought from Machiavelli to Weber, and American Fundamentalism: How the Political, Religious, and Scientific Debates in the West Shaped the Intolerant American Protestantism.

About the Series

Contemporary Liminality

Contemporary Liminality

This series constitutes a forum for works that make use of concepts such as ‘imitation’, ‘trickster’ or ‘schismogenesis’, but which chiefly deploy the notion of ‘liminality’, as the basis of a new, anthropologically-focused paradigm in social theory. With its versatility and range of possible uses rivalling and even going beyond mainstream concepts such as ‘system’ ‘structure’ or ‘institution’, liminality is increasingly considered a new master concept that promises to spark a renewal in social thought.

In spite of the fact that charges of Eurocentrism or even ‘moderno-centrism’ are widely discussed in sociology and anthropology, it remains the case that most theoretical tools in the social sciences continue to rely on taken-for-granted approaches developed from within the modern Western intellectual tradition, whilst concepts developed on the basis of extensive anthropological evidence and which challenged commonplaces of modernist thinking, have been either marginalised and ignored, or trivialised. By challenging the assumed neo-Kantian and neo-Hegelian foundations of modern social theory, and by helping to shed new light on the fundamental ideas of major figures in social theory, such as Nietzsche, Dilthey, Weber, Elias, Voegelin, Foucault and Koselleck, whilst also establishing connections between the perspectives gained through modern social and cultural anthropology and the central concerns of classical philosophical anthropology Contemporary Liminality offers a new direction in social thought.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General