Un carisma en el que podamos creer

CAMBRIDGE – En 2012 está prevista una transición en la dirección de dos importantes autocracias. Probablemente ninguna de las dos constituirá una sorpresa. Xi Jimping va a substituir a Hu Jintao como Presidente de China y en Rusia Vladimir Putin ha anunciado que intentará recuperar la presidencia, que ahora ocupa Dmitri Medvedev. Entre las democracias del mundo, los resultados políticos son menos predecibles este año. Nicholas Sarkozy afronta una campaña difícil para la reelección presidencial en Francia, como Barack Obama en los Estados Unidos.

En las elecciones presidenciales de 2008 en los EE.UU., la prensa nos dijo que Obama ganó porque tenía “carisma”, una capacidad especial para inspirar fascinación y lealtad. En ese caso, ¿cómo puede ser incierta su reelección tan sólo cuatro años después? ¿Puede un dirigente perder su carisma? ¿Procede el carisma de la persona, de sus seguidores o de la situación? Las investigaciones académicas señalan a los tres.

El carisma resulta sorprendentemente difícil de descubrir por adelantado. Según las conclusiones de una encuesta reciente, se sabe “relativamente poco” sobre quiénes son los dirigentes carismáticos. Dick Morris, asesor político americano, informa de que en su experiencia, “el carisma es el más esquivo de los rasgos políticos, porque no existe en la realidad, sino sólo en nuestra apreciación, una vez que un candidato ha triunfado gracias a esfuerzos denodados y planteamientos idóneos”. De forma semejante, la prensa económica ha calificado a más de un consejero delegado de “carismático”, cuando las cosas van bien, pero le han retirado la etiqueta cuando han disminuido los beneficios.

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