Paul Lachine

L'étoffe des héros en politique étrangère

CAMBRIDGE – Certains opposants se plaignent que le Président Barack Obama des Etats-Unis ait fait campagne en utilisant une rhétorique inspirée et une ambition « de bander l'arc de l'histoire » puis qu'il se soit révélé être un leader transactionnel et pragmatique une fois en fonction. Cependant à cet égard, Obama est loin d'être unique.

De nombreux dirigeants changent d'objectifs et de style au cours de leur carrière. L'un des grands leaders transformationnels de l'Histoire, Otto von Bismarck, est devenu en grande partie progressiste et s'est orienté vers le statu quo après avoir réalisé l'unification allemande sous le régime prussien. De même, les objectifs de politique étrangère de Franklin Delano Roosevelt et son style ont été modestes et progressistes lors de son premier mandat présidentiel, mais sont devenus transformationnels en 1938 quand il a décidé qu'Adolph Hitler représentait une menace existentielle.

Le leadership transactionnel est plus efficace dans les environnements stables et prévisibles, alors qu'un style inspiré est plus susceptible d'apparaître dans des périodes de changement politique et social rapide et discontinu. Les objectifs transformationnels et le style inspiré d'un leader comme le Mahatma Gandhi en Inde ou Nelson Mandela en Afrique du Sud peuvent influencer considérablement les résultats dans des contextes politiques fluides, en particulier dans les pays en développement aux contraintes institutionnelles faiblement structurées.

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