Archive for the ‘Daniel Drache’ Category

Professor Daniel Drache is the Associate Director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies and also a Professor of Political Sciences at York University in Toronto, Canada. We were lucky to have him on campus to deliver a guest talk on “Barack Obama’s Stunning Victory”.
As B-school students (oops… I meant participants), we have one discussion quite a few times, “What’s the difference between Managers & Leaders?” Does one imply the other? What are great leaders all about? Do managerial skills help leadership? I guess when we think about great leaders, a lot of images come to mind, including Gandhi, Mandela, Kennedy, etc. and in the years to come we may be hearing “Obama” in that list too. 

Excerpts from the Seminar:
Professor Drache spoke to us as well as the faculty about Defiant Publics and Winning/ Losing in an internet age. Yup, Internet; and to be specific, he spoke a lot on Obama’s campaign strategy using Web 2.0 and Facebook. It was amusing but not shocking to see that none of the professors sitting in the audience were on Facebook. Professor Drache even rewarded them a C- (of course jokingly) when he found out that they didn’t Text (SMS) either. Anyways, how exactly did Obama use Facebook?? During his campaign, there were around 780 regional offices across the US, with paid staff, to arrange and coordinate virtual discussion groups, chat rooms and organizations to mobilize the ideas and suggestions of the American population. These virtual communities made the people feel a part of the campaign. They created networks, and slowly Obama was able to reach the hearts of cynical and critical voters below the age of 30. These activities led to an increase in voter turnout (mostly in favor of Obama) and also a clear mandate for the people.

To Americans, McCain meant “War and Patriotism – Loyalty to the nation, right/wrong; Tax cuts to richer people” but the voters finally voted against that. The crisis caused by the Bush administration and the fact that people felt worse off as compared to 5 years ago did not help the Republican’s cause too much either. Professor Drache said that across the globe today, people hope to have a leader like Obama for “Change”. He called the people of modern times, “Defiant” as they boldly resisted and questioned authority which forcefully wishes you to believe their ideologies. Recently the world has seen a steady decline of Deference. Also, over the past decade, there has been a clear shift in public opinion from Bush-Blair ideologies to ones which actually help the nation progress. During his lecture, Professor Daniel presented a very interesting online poll, which is given below:

The above statistics clearly show, that Obama is “America’s favorite President” at the moment. The fact that a Black candidate won the elections rejects the belief that US citizens allow racism to cloud their thinking. Politics of inclusion and diversity led to Obama’s victory.

Q&A session:
There were some interesting questions from the participants of IIM Indore and Sugandh had even become Mr. Drache’s helpful aid by filling in the blanks on many a occasion. I must commend that fellow for a great GK. Or is it that “He doesn’t study”, as the professor said… 🙂 Anyways, back to Q&A….
In response to Raina, who asked the professor whether expectations may have just gone too high for Obama to fulfill them, Professor Drache said that no expectation can be too “HIGH” for a person like Obama however at times they may be unrealistic in terms of “time-frame”.
Commenting on the new American President, he said that he was a truly diverse cosmopolitan. He had won with his policies and as a gracious and respectful person. However, Dr. Daniel did say that we’ll have to wait for maybe around 2 years to actually see if he’s able to bring change.

Professor Drache’s recently released book: “Defiant Publics: The Unprecedented Growth of the Global Citizen

Another book he mentioned:
The Genius of American Politics” by Daniel J. Boorstin