15 Seton Hall J. Dipl. & Int'l Rel. 107 (2014)
Paul Kagame: Machiavelli's Prince

handle is hein.journals/whith15 and id is 105 raw text is: Paul Kagame: Machiavelli's Prince

by Renford Reese, Ph.D.
There is nothing more di(ffcult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct,
or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of
a new order of things. I
Niccol6 Machiavelli, the Italian diplomat and political theorist, remarked in his
political manifesto that It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.12
The writings and ideological construct embodied by Machiavelli in the 16th Century
are exemplified in the leadership of Paul Kagame, the current president of Rwanda.
As a modern day Machiavellian Prince, Kagame has inspired Rwandans with love,
fear, and a unique paternalism. Despite the centuries that separate the ideology of
Machiavelli and Paul Kagame, the old teachings from city-state Italy have found
utility in the eastern African nation of Rwanda. Kagame's enigmatic and
Machiavellian leadership style has helped propel Rwanda into a fledgling success
story amidst the difficult political climate of Africa.
AUTHORITARIANISM IN AFRICA
Men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because the can avenge themselves of lighter
injuries of more serious ones the cannot; therefore the inju that is to be done to a man
ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.3
The foibles of African politics are perhaps best demonstrated by the Mo
Ibrahim prize, which offers a personal reward of $5 million USD as well as a
$200,000 annual pension to any democratically elected African leader who displays
good governance and peacefully steps down from their post at the conclusion of
their term. Despite this hefty financial incentive, the awards committee has not been
able find an African leader from the 50-plus countries to award in four of its seven
year history.4 African leaders have extracted the most ignoble and callous lessons
from Machiavelli and have used these lessons to manipulate and oppress the masses.
Dr. Renford Reese is a professor of the political science department at California State
Polytechnic University, Pomona.
107
Seton Hall Journal of Diblomay and International Relations

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