Leadership as a phenomenon of timeless significance has always been a subject of research interest. It is a special form of social process inherent in all social groups. In this sense, it is characterized primarily by mutual influence of the members of these groups, with one or several of them exerting a disproportionally larger influence on the choices and actions of the other parts of group. At the same time, personal qualities including leadership style and political motivation remain the central concept of political leadership theory. The emergence of new challenges and new requirements for leaders makes it necessary to consider the tools of influence they possess and employ as well as their ability to adapt to the changing internal and external environment. This article focuses on the leaders of the Arab states who came to power in different periods and represented different types of leadership. In the times of national liberation movements, these were revolutionaries, who overthrew outmoded regimes, promised their people a bright future and built it in their own way. At present, the “redefining” leaders (mostly represented by Gulf monarchs) attract the most attention. They have proved to be highly sensitive to the demands of the time, offering their own ways of responding to them. Both monarchs and republican leaders sometimes share similar cultural and historical identities that influence their methods of governance. For example, the Bedouin theme, which emphasizes the ruler’s closeness to his people and his task to take care of his tribesmen, has been accentuated by the Gulf monarchs and by some revolutionary leaders. The author believes that leaders capable of “redefining” are not necessarily a product of democratic systems. In authoritarian regimes, a new generation of rulers has also contributed to the revision of a number of well-established dogmas concerning the goals of social and national development. However, methods, as well as certain management practices used in the Arab monarchies, have been shaped by a mix of elements associated both with modernity and traditionalism.

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