Strongman (politics)

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A strongman is a type of authoritarian political leader. Political scientists Brian Lai and Dan Slater identify strongman rule as a form of authoritarian rule characterized by autocratic military dictatorships, as distinct from three other categories of authoritarian rule, specifically machine (oligarchic party dictatorships); bossism (autocratic party dictatorships), and juntas (oligarchic military dictatorships).[1]

Authoritarian leaders classified by political scientists as strongmen include Chiang Kai-shek (China), Ioannis Metaxas (Greece), Gamal Abdel Nasser (Egypt), Ayub Khan (Pakistan), Salah Jadid (Syria), Hafez al-Assad (Syria), Siad Barre (Somalia), and Idi Amin (Uganda),[2] as well as Omar Torrijos (Panama)[3] and Manuel Antonio Noriega (Panama).[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brian Lai & Dan Slater (2006). "Institutions of the Offensive: Domestic Sources of Dispute Initiation in Authoritarian Regimes, 1950-1992". American Journal of Political Science. 50 (1): 113–126.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Jessica L. P. Weeks, Dictators at War and Peace (Cornell University Press, 2014), pp. 76-80.
  3. ^ Michael L. Conniff, Panama and the United States: The End of the Alliance (University of Georgia Press: 3d ed. 2012), p. 140.
  4. ^ Michael L. Conniff & Gene E. Bigler, Modern Panama: From Occupation to Crossroads of the Americas (Cambridge University Press, 2019), p. 29.