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Charismatic authority and leadership change: lessons from Cuba's post-Fidel succession

[journal article]

Hoffmann, Bert

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Abstract When Max Weber introduced the concept of “charismatic authority” into the social sciences, acknowledging its great transformative potential, he stressed its inherent problem of succession. This proposition has been tested in the case of one of the most emblematic charismatic leaders in modern politics, Cuba's longtime revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. When he fell ill in 2006, conventional wisdom assumed a major crisis of succession to be inevitable. So how was it possible that the Cuban regime was able to stage a gradual and orderly succession? In addressing this question, the article identifies four key ways in which the empirical experience of the post-Fidel succession challenges our theoretical understanding of the link between charismatic authority and political leadership change.
Keywords Cuba; type of government; presidential system; political leadership; management style; concept; Weber, M.; leadership change; charisma; authority; power; political change; Caribbean Region
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; Political System, Constitution, Government
Free Keywords personelle Nachfolgefragen; Castro, Fidel; Castro, Raúl
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 229-248
Journal International Political Science Review, 30 (2009) 3
ISSN 1460-373X
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.