Archie Brown ‘The Myth of the Strong Leader’ Sunday 4pm at The Oxford Martin School
Archie Brown is Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of Oxford
In his new book, and this talk, he concerns himself with challenging the assumption that the most effective political leaders are those who dominate their executive.
Casting his net far and wide he convincingly shows that truly transformative leaders are almost always those who take a significantly more collegiate approach to governing, be that in democracies or totalitarian regimes.
As you would expect from such a distinguished academic the book is impeccably researched but he wears his knowledge lightly – this is a book that will reward any general reader with a passing interest in history and politics. He is at his most fascinating when discussing Gorbachev and the fall of the Soviet system (having played a significant role in alerting the West to the potential of working with him). His recognition of Adolfo Suarez all the more poignant in this the week of his death. He pulls no punches in criticising those politicians who placed their ‘cult of personality’ ahead of good, effective politics. On finishing the book I found it impossible to disagree with his central thesis.
Expect an informed and interesting talk – Archie is a heavyweight Political Scientist but also one of the warmest most generous authors that we know.