What is Charismatic Authority and Examples

The Charismatic authority is an authority based on the special personal qualities claimed by and for an individual in order to make the person attractive so that he could influence a large number of people. Originally, it is used in a religious context but now-a-days it is used in all spheres. It is also referred to as charismatic leadership.

Charismatic leadership is found in a person with extraordinary characteristics of an individual who is different from others by his vision and mission through which he can inspire many people around. Therefore, such leaders are made the heads of social and political movements.

This authority depends on the extent to which such a charismatic leader can be able to preserve the prosperity of his followers and influence them. The charismatic leadership varies considerably between democratic and non-democratic politics. In such cases, people do not obey the laws and customs and follow the orders of the leader without any logic. It allows the concentration power around a single individual.

Examples of some of the charismatic leaders are Gamal Abdul Nasser (Middle East), Saddam Hussein, Houari Boumediene, Yassar Arafat, Ayatolah Khumeini, etc.

Egypt and Libya under Mubarak and Gaddafi as their charismatic leaders saw them directing their succession to their sons and families. They tried to introduce their sons to politics prior to the Arab Spring. Asia, China and South Korea still remain to be significant examples of charismatic leadership. Osama Bin Ladin remains as a heroic symbol for Salafist extremist groups around the world. Therefore, it is no longer relevant to democracy, as it allows the concentration of the complete power among a single leader.

But this doesn’t deny the fact that charismatic leaders even existed in democracies. Some of them are Barrack Obama, Hilary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Angela Merkel. They influenced voters and with the use of their soft power have managed to achieve significant outcomes within the democratic rule.

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