From 1885 until 1908 Leopold II was not only the King of Belgium but also the personal owner of the Congo Free State. The policy outcomes during his reign turned out to be fundamentally different in the two countries: Whereas in Belgium he improved living conditions, in the Congo he established a brutal tyranny. This paper analyses the reasons for these different leadership styles of Leopold II by means of the 'selectorate theory'. The selectorate theory explains policy outcomes as a function of governance institutions. It assumes that the ruler maximizes his own utility which means first of all to sustain himself in power. Under Belgium's governmental institutions Leopold II required broad support from the general public but in the Congo he only needed a very small group of supporters. To reduce the possibility that Leopold's different leadership styles were caused mainly by racism his period is compared to the reign of the Congolese leader Mobutu Sese Seko.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Historical Social Research|
|State||Published - 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences(all)