Comparing Two Charismatic Leaders: Ataturk and de Gaulle

in Comparative Sociology
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Abstract

Charismatic leaderships are comparable in spite of the specific character of each case, but not necessarily in spite of the socio-economic-cultural contexts. Significant analogies can be noticed between the political roles of Kendal Attar and Charles de Gaulle in the following respects: the dramatic historical circumstances of their emergence as leaders; the Resistance movement that they headed against foreign military occupation; the symbol of hope that they became in the eyes of the people; the faith they had in their historical mission and their determination; their luck in their undertakings; the outstanding political talents of these two military men; the direct contact with the people that these two leaders were able to establish; the paramount importance that they accorded to national independence; the reinforcement of the state bureaucracy that they imposed; the abandonment of the empire under the pressure of history; the foundation of a new political order and regime; the inevitable personalization of power and their routinization of their heritage. Except in the religious domain, the institutionalization of charisma has a relatively short life.

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