Subject is called Charisma ans Politics.
In your report you are asked to analyse a specific case of political charisma of your own choice, using one or more of the concepts you have got
acquainted with in this module. This can, for instance, be the analysis of a contemporary or historical political personality deemed charismatic (a
politician, the leader of a social movement, a civil society figure, a warrior etc.); or you can analyze charismatic artifacts such as the American
constitution, or charismatic ideas such as the Hippie Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Please make sure that you choose a case that is, in the widest
sense, political. If you justify it appropriately, this may include quite a broad range of possible cases (for example, religious figures like the
Pope and his impact on politics, or even pop stars like Bono, Madonna or Angelina Jolie, as far as their social and political influence is discussed,
e.g. with reference to these celebrities engagement in ‘fighting poverty’ or their ‘service’ to UN agencies).
You should also give your case study report a specific thematic focus. This could be done, for example, in the following ways:
– Focus on how charisma emerges by analyzing the biography of a charismatic figure like Nelson Mandela with the help of different theories about the
genesis of charisma.
– Or analyze the role of the Ayatollah in Iran with regard to the question how charisma can be perpetuated/institutionalized.
– Or explore why charisma often fails under the pressure of everyday politics, for example by looking at the case of US president Obama?
– Or analyze a famous speech by a charismatic figure, using approaches that stress the connection between rhetoric and charismatic appeal.
– Or look at a case of a charismatic woman, e.g. Evita Peron in Argentina, Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, Indira Gandhi in India, or Margaret Thatcher in
the UK, asking whether gender plays a role with regard to charisma.
– Or look at the example of a dictator like Hitler in Germany, Kim Jong-Il in North Korea, or Idi Amin in Uganda and analyze in how far his charisma
was staged and what this tells us about our contemporary perception of historical figures.
Please note: These are just examples; there are endless possibilities of choosing a case and giving it a specific thematic twist, and it is entirely
up to you and your interests what you choose. Again, please make clear in the introduction to your case study report, what you are analyzing and
under which question you are doing so.