Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Science and Management

Second Department


Reader 1

William Lincoln

Reader 2

Anna Wenzel

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.


The growing complexity of politics in a globalizing world has made political leadership a key factor in understanding and predicting foreign affairs. With greater access to information due to advancements in technology, extreme forms of leadership have attracted immense amounts of attention. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping take center stage due to their polarizing domestic and foreign policies, especially regarding their responses to public health emergencies of international concern (PHEICs). This paper evaluates academic literature that focuses on Putin’s and Jinping’s political leadership styles and their responses to global health crises - with an emphasis on their response to COVID-19. The paper concludes that Putin is an expansionist hostile enforcer with a deliberative high-dominance introversion foreign policy approach and Jinping is a high-dominance introvert. I then use this information to analyze the overall stability of each country during the pandemic using measures of GDP per capita, GNI, average life expectancy, unemployment rates, presidential approval rates, and number of reported COVID cases during their time in office. These findings suggest that an authoritarian response to a PHEIC mitigates the immediate ramifications of a crisis and accelerates the economic recovery process due to their ability to act quickly.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.