Presentation on theme: "Theory. Role of Leadership Serve as a spokesperson for the less articulate Working out strategy and tactics for action Negotiating with the opponent Encouraging."— Presentation transcript:
Role of Leadership Serve as a spokesperson for the less articulate Working out strategy and tactics for action Negotiating with the opponent Encouraging willingness to resist Promoting discipline Choosing the best moment for action Recommending continuing tactics and counter responses as the movement progresses.
Types of Leadership (1) Individual leadership (2) Group of committee leadership (3) A combination of the two “It is arguable which could operate best in crisis situations.” (Sharp 1973: 465)
Is a strong leadership required for a successful movement? Effective Leadership is assumed to be very important for successful non-violent resistance movements (Machiavelli). “Their belief in nonviolence was unintelligent … But their belief in their leaders was genuine.” (Gandhi)
However that is not to say that without central leadership all non violent struggle will fail. British General strike of 1926 “Much depends on the extent and depth of understanding of the nature and requirements of this technique of struggle” (Sharp 1973: 463)
Otpor! Horizontal leadership Local autonomy “The idea was, cut off one Otpor head, and another fifteen heads would appear”
Rise of Civil Society during the 1990s. Previous experience of opposing authoritarian regimes. Long-standing commitment to non-violent tactics. Otpor – widespread training in nonviolent tactics.
‘The Politics of Nonviolent Action’, Gene Sharp Gandhi: Understanding the strict conditions of Satyagraha Many subordinate leaders of Indian campaign, e.g. Abdul Ghaffar Khan
MLK philosophical views on nonviolence The Beloved Community The Principle of Agape Justice and Just Laws Civil Disobedience and Self-Suffering Means and Ends
Nathan Huggins, ‘Charisma and Leadership’ (Journal of American History) “great man” “Individuals do make a difference, and when they play such important roles as did Dr. King, we must give them great attention” “an ocean, with individuals (Dr. King among them) as waves on that ocean. Without the ocean, the individuals would be of little significance.”
Problems with Leadership Divisions within movements Alienation of other groups in society Figurehead problematic Emphasising leadership leads to diminishing the importance of organisation and mass involvement
Case study I - Chartism Divisions limiting efficacy of movement Factions inhibit strict organisation - William Lovett and the ‘moral force’ -Feargus O’Connor and the ‘physical force’ Loss of appeal to key supporters - Lovett seen as member of elite - O’Connor seen as member of terrorist organisation (and as such a damage to sympathies of the public)
Case study II - China Factions – fight for control over Tiananmen Sq. between moderates and radicals Influx from outside Beijing – creating more organisations/divisions ‘suspicion, distrust and rumours’ Failure to achieve widespread support - alienation from the workers
Conclusions (I) The election of leaders has the potential to alienate possible groups of support (especially when leadership is seen as ‘elite’) Compare this to movements with no clear leadership - such as Danish and Norwegian resistance to the Nazi’s, and Serbia’s Otpur – that were not factioned and garnered huge support from all sectors No clear leadership also provides a strategic advantage – the movement is more difficult to attack
Conclusions (II) Leaders also open themselves up to criticism – as figureheads they represent the movements – eg. MLK and his affairs Stressing the importance of one leader can diminish the strategic value of localities and organisation – eg. Anti-apartheid and localised groups, collective groups in Nashville forcing traditional leaders to become more radical Context – the importance of leadership relating to specific cases and structures already in place.
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