Bert Hoffmann

Transitions from Charismatic Rule: Theories of Leadership Change and Cuba’s Post-Fidel Succession

GIGA Working Paper, No. 56, August 2007

For theories of political succession and charismatic authority, the almost half‐century long rule of Fidel Castro presents an extraordinary test case since Fidel in July 2006 handed over power ‘temporarily’ to his deputy and brother Raúl. On the background of Max Weber’s work on charismatic rule, the paper analyzes the way in which the Cuban leadership has responded to the succession question and identifies four aspects in which it differs from the succession problems typically attributed to charismatic rule: Cuba’s longstanding exceptionalism regarding the ‘second man’ behind the leader; the succession during the life‐time of the leader with a sui generis modus of ‘cohabitation’ between the outgoing and the incoming leader; the routinization of charisma which domestically allows a bureaucratic succession model with the Communist Party, rather than any individual, being postulated as Fidel Castro‘s heir; and as a correlate to the latter, the ritual transmission of Fidel’s charisma to a heir beyond the nation‐state, Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, as the new charismatic leader to continue Fidel Castro’s universal revolutionary mission.

GIGA-Forschung zum Thema

Related Research Tabs

GIGA AutorInnen

Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann

Lead Research Fellow
Leitung GIGA Berlin Büro

Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann ist Lead Research Fellow am GIGA Institut für Lateinamerika-Studien, Leiter des GIGA Berlin-Büros und Professor für Politikwissenschaft an der Freien Universität Berlin. Er arbeitet zur politischen und sozialen Entwicklung Lateinamerikas und der Karibik und ist Senior Researcher im EU-Jean Monnet-Netzwerk-Projekt „Europe-Cuba Forum“.

Aktuelle Publikationen der AutorInnen

Bert Hoffmann

Repressed memory: Rethinking the impact of Latin America’s forgotten pandemics

European Review of Latin American and European Studies, 2020, 109, 203-211

Bert Hoffmann

Fluch der Karibik

Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft, 2020

Merike Blofield / Bert Hoffmann / Mariana Llanos

Die politischen und sozialen Folgen der Corona-Krise in Lateinamerika

GIGA Focus Lateinamerika, 03/2020