Leicester experts weigh in on Trumps leadership potential

On the day (20 January) of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the United States, researchers from our University have discussed his potential as a leader in a series of articles for Think: Leicester.

Dr Rob Dover, Associate Professor in Intelligence and Security from the University of Leicester School of History, Politics and International Relations, has outlined Trump’s relationship with Russia.

He said: “We are facing an incoming President who is unusually receptive to improving relations with Russia in ways that have not been contemplated before: the relationship resets of Bush and Obama quickly became ‘business as usual’, as aggressive posturing has sucked the good will out of these initiatives.

“But if Trump does as most expect, and signs a compact with Russia that effectively solidifies and accepts Crimea as now Russian, not only will this see the acceptance of a redrawing of European borders by force, something not done since the Second World War, it would further encourage insecurity and instability in Europe’s eastern borders with Russia.”

Dr David Strachan-Morris, Lecturer in Intelligence and Security from the University of Leicester School of History, Politics and International Relations, has discussed Trump’s relationship with the American intelligence community and how he may consider bypassing it.

He said: “Trump’s approach to the intelligence community has been combative so far. He reportedly plans to reduce the size of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), an office established to oversee and coordinate the intelligence community, and revamp the CIA, both of which he believes have become politicised.

“Trump’s antipathy towards the intelligence community has been exacerbated by the publication of two intelligence dossiers, one that casts a shadow over his election and another which, if true, casts a shadow over his personal and business conduct. Trump’s reaction to the first, which detailed a wide spectrum Russian operation to influence the presidential election in Trump’s favour, was to question the credibility of the intelligence community.

“One possibility is that he views intelligence agencies as his employees but another, more disturbing one, is that faced with what he perceives to be a hostile intelligence community he will establish and rely on an alternative intelligence infrastructure while the official one is largely ignored.”

Professor Mark Stein, Chair of Leadership and Management from the University of Leicester School of Business, has commented on Trump and the risks of narcissistic leadership.

He said: “The delusional nature of Trump’s narcissism and his excessive view of his own power and knowledge are laid bare by the fact that – somewhat ironically – he made his name by presiding over the American television version of ‘The Apprentice’: Trump has served no apprenticeship whatsoever for the post he is about to assume, with every one of the previous 44 US Presidents having served in senior positions in government or in the military or both, where Trump has held no such position.

“This speaks of an extraordinary sense of grandiosity, of a failure to learn and develop, leaving Trump to feel that he can assume a position – the most powerful in the world – without any obvious preparation for the post." 

Previous articles written by Leicester academics about Donald Trump have included:

Think: Leicester does not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Leicester - it expresses the independent views and opinions of the academic who has authored the piece. If you do not agree with the opinions expressed, and you are a doctoral student/academic at the University of Leicester, you may write a counter opinion for Think: Leicester and send to ap507@le.ac.uk