The Economic Logic of Strongmen Politics

Published date01 December 2023
AuthorSurvesh Pratap Singh
Date01 December 2023
Subject MatterBook Review
Jadavpur Journal of
International Relations
27(2) 262 –264, 2023
© 2023 Jadavpur University
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/09735984231207714
Book Review
The Economic
Logic of Strongmen
Deepanshu Mohan and Abhinav Padmanabhan,
Strongmen Saviours: A Political Economy of
Populism in India, Turkey, Russia and Brazil.
Routledge, 2022, 228 pp., 3,635 (paperback).
ISBN 978-1032288321
A general academic consensus has engulfed us, which is that this is the
age of right-wing populists who are typically strongmen (yes, men)
leading their respective nations. While much has been documented in the
form of books, journal articles, and newspaper articles pertaining to the
elusive theme of populism, this book is novel in two important respects.
First, the book adopts the lens of political economy to analyze, describe,
delineate, and draw the lineage of populism in four countries. Second,
the four countries taken as case studies are all developing countries and
offer an understanding of populism outside the geographical domain of
Northern America and Europe.
The book provides a sufficient background of all the four countries—
India, Turkey, Russia, and Brazil by documenting the political and
economic history of each of these nations. Additionally, there are
dedicated chapters for each of the leaders that have been studied in the
book—putting into pages lives of complex individuals who hold the
reins of their respective nations. Although the book does not explicitly
mention that it is a work of comparative and international politics, there
are enough evidence to be picked up and declare the book to be so.
Strongmen Saviours, thus, is not only about populism.
The comparative element in the book helps to capture the
commonalities of the different leaders as well as the historical background
in which they have risen in, and ultimately, obtained power. An almost

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT