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"How a leader turns to dictator": Analysis of Kaddafi's life through leadership theories
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Business, Economics and Design, Linnaeus School of Business and Economics.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Abstract To the pantheon of grotesque and bloodthirsty dictators is now, on the front row, the Colonel Muammar Kaddafi who, for over 40 years, bought the silence of Western democracies with oil from his country and amuse the gallery with his folk outfit, his tents, his very close female guard, his reasoning and his degenerated offspring for a smoky diversion to hide the crimes of his regime. How the world has tolerated all these years, a fool like him who dictated the law to his enslaved people and executed worldwide opponents? Was it not enough to analyze his rambling speeches to understand that it was a Nero in power? Initially, this fictional character, out of "The Autumn of the Patriarch" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, was probably not as crazy. Certainly was perceived in the eyes of the shy Lieutenant interviewed on television after the "White Revolution", a certain arrogance, but we were still far from the image of the future dictator. In 1969, the lieutenant was wearing a simple uniform, without medals, he smiled constantly and dodged most questions put to him, he did nothing of the clown lawless that some years later, terrorized his people and the international community. Who is he? Where is he from? How has he grown from a single officer to a despot?

The phenomenon of Kaddafi was not new. The character looked like most dictators already known: totalitarian, he allowed no other political party, except his own, and model the constitution at his will to ensure the sustainability of his power; megalomaniac, he had delusions of grandeur and dreams of becoming the unifier of the Arab world; provocative and stubborn, he willingly employed a rhetoric that lacks of logic and insulted the intelligence; exhibitionist, he was always wearing, like Mussolini, accoutrements as surprising as ridiculous; irascible, he gesticulated and uttered during his speeches in the style of Hitler. Convinced that everything is permitted, he launched into projects and allowed excessive worst follies, like Idi Amin Dada, including the bombing of his own people. The paradox was the constant of his regime. Corrupt, he castigated the corruption and pretended to fight it by imprisoning some scapegoats; they became billionaires, he claimed to be "socialist" and was intended as poor as his subjects who stuck in sub-sustainable development. Champion of democracy, the one who was proud to say that   he granted the power to the Libyans by creating his "popular committees" eliminated his opponents, muzzled the media and cancelled the freedom of expression.

For most of us, leadership has become synonymous with competence, courage, and good character. How then do we explain these atrocities? This fraud? And other scandals? In spite of the countless glaring examples of bad leadership, why do we cling to an idealized notion of leadership that is more imagined than real? This thesis is about the dark side of human condition. It paints leadership in shades of gray and black. In spite of all the work on leadership that assumes it by definition to be good, I describe how it is possible to exercise power, authority and influence in ways that do harm. This harm can be the result of the madness of one man and has calamitous consequences. The intend is here to draw attention to how and why it happens. I contend that this type of leadership is not an aberration nor a unique case but an ubiquitous and insidious part of everyday life that must be carefully examined and better understood.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 110 p.
Keyword [en]
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-19623OAI: diva2:531797
Educational program
Leadership and Management in International Context, Master Programme, 60 credits
2012-05-23, 204, universitetet, Kalmar, 00:13 (English)
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-06-21 Created: 2012-06-08 Last updated: 2012-06-21Bibliographically approved

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