1st Edition

Political Leadership in an Era of Decolonisation Case Studies from Across the Globe

Edited By Malcolm Murfett Copyright 2024
    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    What is leadership, and why is it so important? In what ways does it look very different in different contexts, and in what ways does it look the same? Malcolm Murfett brings together a range of emerging and established scholars to examine these questions in light of some of the mid-twentieth century’s most intriguing national leaders.

    In a series of striking biographical chapters, lessons are drawn from the apartheid era in South Africa, Lee’s remarkable socio-economic transformation of Singapore, Castro’s revolutionary overhauling of Cuba, and the playing out of Bandaranaike’s populist agenda in Sri Lanka. The book illuminates what Brezhnev and Nixon were looking for in the Cold War and what happened when the people turned against Nyerere in Tanzania, the Shah in Iran, and Ceauşescu in Romania. These case studies address what leadership meant for the individuals whose record in power is being examined. These are not idealised portraits of ‘how to do leadership’ but warts-and-all portrayals of exceptional individuals who scrabbled their way to the top and stayed there for several years during a period of great change.

    Business schools have long studied the theoretical axioms of corporate leadership. What this book does, however, is to move beyond the theory into the practical realm of politics and statecraft. This is a fascinating book on leadership that will be of interest for students, researchers, and practitioners studying leadership in business and politics, as well as for students of global history, decolonisation, and the Cold War.

    1 Leadership in apartheid South Africa: the impact of Hendrik Verwoerd and B.J. Vorster

    J.E. Spence

    2 Lee Kuan Yew: from political insurgent to national manager

    Michael D. Barr

    3 Fidel Castro: the eternal leader of a revolution or the leader of an eternal revolution?

    Vinicius Mariano de Carvalho

    4 The unlikely prime minister: rethinking Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s leadership in a bipolar nation and world

    Darinee Alagirisamy

    5 Julius Nyerere: African leadership as a moral project

    Sara Lorenzini

    6 Leonid Brezhnev: rule through trust and care

    Susanne Schattenberg

    7 Nicolae Ceauşescu: interpreting a national-Stalinist

    Francesco Magno

    8 The rise and fall of Richard Nixon as a global leader

    Umberto Tulli

    9 Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi: a moderniser challenged by Islamists and Leftists

    Pejman Abdolmohammadi


    Malcolm Murfett


    Malcolm Murfett is Visiting Professor in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. A historian of the contemporary world with over a dozen books to his name, Malcolm is also Associate Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and the Series Editor of Cold War in Asia.