Is there any difference between leadership and statesmanship?

The terms are sometimes used interchangeably. But sometimes a significant difference is also observed. Please cite a few examples if possible, in the context of the modern political history of world leadership.

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    "A statesman is a politician who’s been dead ten or fifteen years." - Harry S Truman. – Steve Melnikoff Apr 22 at 20:18
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    What's the purpose of that link you've just added in? How is it relevant to the question you're asking? – F1Krazy Apr 23 at 12:19
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    Yeah, I've rolled back the subquestion. If you want to ask more, ask a new question, don't edit an existing and already answered question to expand it – divibisan Apr 23 at 14:31

Terry Newell proposed the following model, illustrated below, in his 2012 book entitled Statesmanship, Character, and Leadership in America. Briefly, Newell's model includes six different factors which make up the overall quality of statesmanship. He argues that none of the six factors is more important than another - "There is no order of precedence; the leader moves among the six factors with dexterity in aiming for an act of statesmanship."

Firstly, the political context in which the leader's actions are taken, secondly, the leader's character, which combines a multitude of factors such as self-criticism, virtue, and, indeed, leadership.

The next three factors are sets of skills which Newell expects every successful statesman to master. These are shown in the three segments surrounding the centre of the diagram below: a transcendent purpose, a mastery of the art of politics, and an ability to persuade and compel support. He calls up visions of, for example, Martin Luther King Jr.'s ability to "command the nation’s attention from a jail cell because he could reconnect us to the purpose of America."

Finally, Newell argues that the last component is an aspiration to shape the nation's character: "Unless people rise to the leader’s moral vision, statesmanship is glorious in the attempt but remains, in Langston Hughes’s words, a 'dream deferred.'".

While Newell's model particularly examines the American view of statesmanship, hopefully that helps you separate the two terms in a more abstract context.

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  • your answer is always appreciated. – user30612 Apr 23 at 9:51

According to my opinion:

  • Leadership = ability to lead the country/people to go through difficult times or to achieve a single objective.
  • Statesmanship = ability to maneuver country/people using diplomacy over a long period of time.

These two qualities are not always mutually exclusive, but sometimes they are found to be distinct.

For instance, Winston Churchill was a good leader and a statesman as he led Britain to go through WW2. The same can be said about Margaret Thatcher.

Fidel Castro was a good leader, but not a very good statesman.

On the other hand, Henry Kissinger was a good statesman, but there is no proof that he was a good leader.

And about the scenario of these days political-marketing through media (especially social media) promotions, is it a part of the real leadership and true statesmanship or is just a matter of false, short term fan-following ship !!


This section is actually asking for an opinion. I answering this part only to get my answer accepted.

Trump is neither a leader nor a statesman (diplomat). He is a clever businessman and got his presidentship by manipulating people through populism.

If the USA weren't a Republic with true separation of powers among state institutions, he would have been either gone through an uprising or would have become a dictator.

He would have also been gone if the USA had parliamentary democracy like the UK.

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  • @user30612 Is this is a "very good and precise" answer, why are you asking OP to re-read the question and amend it? – F1Krazy Apr 23 at 12:20
  • @F1Krazy the answer is not addressing the question fully. although its good.. – user30612 Apr 23 at 12:25
  • Could you explain for user366312's benefit which part it's not addressing? I'm assuming you're referring to the third paragraph? – F1Krazy Apr 23 at 12:26
  • question has two aspects, one is theoretical, and the other is actually more practical. – user30612 Apr 23 at 13:11
  • let us wait for some more answers posted. atleast we would get some idea about the query at the end of it. theoretical are ready available but need of hour was contemporary scenario. – user30612 Apr 23 at 13:26

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