Paul Lachine

Lo correcto en política exterior

CAMBRIDGE – Algunos críticos reclaman que el Presidente de EE.UU. Barack Obama hizo campaña basándose en una retórica inspiradora y la ambición de “inclinar el arco de la historia”, para acabar convirtiéndose en un líder pragmático y transaccional una vez obtenida la presidencia. Sin embargo, en este tema Obama no es ninguna excepción.

Muchos líderes cambian de objetivos y estilo a lo largo de sus carreras. Uno de los grandes transformadores de la historia, Otto von Bismarck, se orientó cada vez más hacia el statu quo y los avances graduales tras lograr la unificación alemana bajo la égida de Prusia. De manera similar, los objetivos y estilo de Franklin Delano Roosevelt eran modestos y progresivos en su primer mandato, pero se volvieron transformacionales en 1938, tras decidir que Adolph Hitler representaba una amenaza existencial para EE.UU.

El liderazgo transaccional es más eficaz en ambientes estables y predecibles, mientras que es más probable que surjan estilos inspiradores en tiempos de cambios políticos y sociales rápidos y discontinuos. Los objetivos transformacionales y el estilo inspirador de un líder como Mahatma Gandhi en India o Nelson Mandela en Sudáfrica pueden influir de manera importante en contextos políticos fluidos, en particular en países en desarrollo con límites institucionales débiles.

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