The Strongmen

Hans Kribbe


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Agenda Publishing
17 September 2020
ISBN: 9781788212755
256 pages

From the publisher

Seven decades after the liberation of Europe, the strongmen of global politics are back. With a style and strategy of leadership that is anathema to liberal democratic norms and practices, the strongman challenges the principles of consensus and collaboration, willingly tears up trade agreements, invades territory and seeks to provoke and disrupt the status quo in order to achieve advantage. In this fascinating study of strongman power, Hans Kribbe draws on a range of political ideas to provide insight into the strongman's seemingly irrational and idiosyncratic behaviour to better understand how he (it is always "he") wields power and to what end. Although the strongman's behaviour confounds and frustrates his counterparts abroad, Kribbe's analysis offers hope that it can be understood, anticipated and even neutralized. The implication of Kribbe's study is unequivocal: with the world's largest economies, as well as strategic neighbouring states controlled by strongmen, Europe must learn to speak their language if it is to beat them at their own game.