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Leadership And Foreign Policy Essay

2616 words - 11 pages

LEADERSHIP AND FOREIGN POLICY: Contrasting between the liberalist and realist views, discuss the role of a leader in influencing foreign policy.

In foreign policy, decision making is guided by different a leader that is from presidents, cabinets, parliaments and groups such as communist party of Soviet Union and the standing committee of the communist party of china and Central Intelligence Agency of USA. One cannot run away from the fact that a leader’s personality can affect foreign policy. Maoz and Shayer believe that one cannot underrate or ignore the role of personality in decision making as it plays a huge role. By examining ones foreign policy, we can understand foreign ...view middle of the document...

Liberals also encourage cooperation between sates so as to avoid conflicts and wars, they also want to preserve balance of power as the only way of maintaining harmony in the world.

Pre-dominant leaders

Predominant leaders are those who control all the aspects of a countries foreign policy. According to Margaret G et al (1989), this type of leader is one who is insensitive and does not spare anyone’s feelings. Such leaders will have to include the late Gaddafi of Libya and Castro from Cuba. Gaddafi wanted to die for his country even if it meant killing everyone who opposed him. This idea of eliminating opposition has inspired other leaders such as Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Museveni of Uganda. Gaddafi was also able to convince other African leaders to support Omar al-Bashir of Sudan who had been charged of violating human rights. During the reign of Castro citizens opposing him and communism had to run to other countries including USA.

Many parties involved in a foreign policy can make decisions hard to make for a country for example Iran. The moderates led by Bazarganand and radicals led by Ayatollah Behesti disagreed on what they were going to do about American hostages they had. Thus foreign policy can reach a dead end if many parties are involved (Magaret, Hermann, 2001) .Tensions between Palestinians and Israelis during the Lebanon war of 1982 is said to have been fuelled by Ariel Sharon who was Israeli’s Defence Minister. He can also be classified as a pre-dominant leader. He took all responsibility for the lives lost in the Palestinians massacre and no one could do anything about it.

Sensitive leaders
Some leaders however are regarded sensitive .These types of leaders do not dominate the decisions of the country like the pre-dominant ones.An example Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia. Such leaders do not act only according to what they want but they also take into consideration other people’s opinions. Kenneth Kaunda consulted other members of the parliament on which movement party to support in southern Rhodesia during colonialism. Even though he chose to work closely with ZAPU, he also gave support to the other party ZANU. Another leader regarded as sensitive was Zhou En -Lai of China.

Intervention vs. Non-intervention
Jonathan chait argues saying that no realist would have interfered in Libya to save civilians the way America did. This was seen by realists as an act of self interest despite claims of America calling it a humanitarian intervention. In his Nobel Prize speech, President Obama expressed his support for liberalism also quoting John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King and even Gandhi in his justifications for humanitarian intervention. He also added that it was a responsibility of anyone to act upon any evil. President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela also told Latin America that the intervention of Libya was only aimed at oil in Libya.

Fukuyama (1992) goes on to argue that the US should promote its own values and morals but at the same...

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