Strongman (politics)

Strongman (politics)
Caesar Augustus, first emperor of the Roman Empire and a historical example of a "strongman"

A strongman is a political leader who rules by force and runs an authoritarian regime. The term is often used interchangeably with "dictator," but differs from a "warlord".

A strongman is not necessarily always a formal head of government, however. Sometimes the term is used to describe a military or political figure who exercises far more influence over the government than is constitutionally allowed. General Manuel Noriega, for example, was often dubbed the "Strongman of Panama" for the enormous amount of political power he exercised over Panama, despite the fact that he was not the formal president of the state. The same can be said for General Rahimuddin Khan, often termed as the "Strongman of Balochistan", whose post as martial law administrator was junior to that of then head of state, Zia-ul-Haq, but still phenomenally powerful.

General Rahimuddin Khan was dubbed the "Strongman of Balochistan"

Political figures referred to as "strongmen"


  1. ^
  2. ^ Castro: Clinton-Obama ticket 'invincible' -
  3. ^ The Op-Ed Assassination of Hugo Chávez
  4. ^ Hugo Chavez to make himself president for life - Telegraph
  5. ^ Media Alert: Chavez And Rctv - Tilting The Balance Against 'The Bad Guy'
  6. ^ The Castro in Caracas: Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, in Fidel's image | National Review | Find Articles at
  7. ^ The Wall Street Journal Online - Featured Article
  8. ^ Is North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il ready to trade away his growing nuclear arsenal, or is he just playing for time? - US News and World Report
  9. ^ BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Profile: Rwanda's strongman
  10. ^
  11. ^ Ferdinand Marcos
  12. ^ TIMEasia Magazine: Malaysia - The Last of the Strongmen
  13. ^ BBC News | Malaysia crisis | Profile: Malaysia's strongman Mahathir
  14. ^ Moi's legacy to Kenya
  15. ^ Middle East after Hosni Mubarak: impact of a revolution
  16. ^
  17. ^ Manuel Noriega Biography
  18. ^ People's Daily Online - Pinochet, long-time strongman in Chile, dies at 91
  19. ^ Myth of the Strongman - The Washington Post
  20. ^ Strongman Syngman - TIME
  21. ^ Zaire 1975-1978 KH
  22. ^ BBC News | ASIA-PACIFIC | Cambodia strongman gives election pledge
  23. ^ The Quick & the Dead - TIME

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