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International Studies in Social History
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Charismatic Leadership and Social Movements
The Revolutionary Power of Ordinary Men and Women
Edited by Jan Willem Stutje
212 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-0-85745-329-7 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (August 2012)
eISBN 978-0-85745-330-3 eBook
“This volume’s strength lies in its broad range of historical case studies combined with a robust collection of essays addressing conceptual and theoretical aspects of charismatic leadership” · Anthropological Notebooks
“This is an interesting and stimulating collection of articles which, taken together, cover both conceptional/theoretical and empirical aspects of the role and features of charisma in general, and charisma in social movements in particular. The range of case studies is impressive.” · Dieter Rucht, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialwissenschaft (WZB)
Much of the writing on charisma focuses on specific traits associated with exceptional leaders, a practice that has broadened the concept of charisma to such an extent that it loses its distinctiveness – and therefore its utility. More particularly, the concept’s relevance to the study of social movements has not moved beyond generalizations. The contributors to this volume renew the debate on charismatic leadership from a historical perspective and seek to illuminate the concept’s relevance to the study of social movements. The case studies here include such leaders as Mahatma Gandhi; the architect of apartheid, Daniel F. Malan; the heroine of the Spanish Civil War, Dolores Ibarruri (la pasionaria); and Mao Zedong. These charismatic leaders were not just professional politicians or administrators, but sustained a strong symbiotic relationship with their followers, one that stimulated devotion to the leader and created a real group identity.
Jan Willem Stutje is a research fellow at The Institute of Biography at the University of Groningen. From 2001–05, he was a fellow at the International Institute of Social History and at the Free University of Brussels. He is the author of several biographies including Ernest Mandel: A Rebel’s Dream Deferred (Verso 2009).
Subject: History: 20th Century to Present Sociology
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