International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Weber’s Theory of Charismatic Leadership: The Case of Muslim Leaders in Contemporary Indonesian Politics
Dr. Jennifer L. Epley

In Economy and Society, Max Weber created three models of legitimacy for the topic of political obligation and why one should obey the state: tradition, charisma, and legal-rational. The second model is personalistic and emphasizes the right and power of a “special” individual, which Weber identifies as “charisma.” This article explores the meaning and types of “charisma” by applying features of Weber’s theory of “charismatic leadership” to Muslim leaders in contemporary Indonesian politics. It offers an analysis of how Weber’s notions might inform how we generally think about Muslim intellectuals, politicians or government officials, organization leaders, and scholars. In addition to its applications, this article identifies limitations of Weber’s theories and potential areas in need of further research. Investigating the relationship between “charisma” and leadership in a specific country case can offer insights for clarifying certain political concepts and shaping future theorybuilding, data collection, and testing.

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