Magazine
Latest Issue

The great misunderstanding when it comes to strongman leaders

Their agenda is driven not by strength but weakness and the result is playing out before our eyes 

By Guy de Jonquières  

Photo: Li Tao/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

From Washington to Warsaw, from Beijing to Brasilia and Budapest, from Caracas to Cairo, the world has fallen under the spell of “strongman” leaders. Nowhere is that clearer than in the mounting tensions between Donald Trump’s US and Xi Jinping’s China. Ostensibly about trade, their conflict is at root a contest for supremacy between a long-established global hegemon and a pretender to that crown.

In one sense, the US-China dispute may look like a clash of the titans, pitting the world’s two…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect