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Playing Politics with Charisma: Archbishop Makarios III and the Cyprus Issue

Christos Kassimeris, Andreas G. Philaretou

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This theoretical analysis utilizes a social constructionist approach to delve into the social psychological dynamics characterizing the evolution of charismatic leadership as exemplified through the life and death of Archbishop Makarios III who served as both the Archbishop and president of the Republic of Cyprus from 1960 until his death in 1977. Makarios’ charisma inspired considerable loyalty and obedience from the majority of his Greek-Cypriot followers at times of crises before and after the island’s independence from British rule in the 1960’s. The ultimate goal of this study is to provide an understanding of the cross mixing of the macro historical, political, cultural, and societal influences and micro social psychological intricacies that have contributed to the branding of charismatic leadership to Makarios’ persona.

Keywords: Makarios – Cyprus – Charismatic authority – Charisma – Leadership – Greek Cypriots