Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Vol.6. No.2 June 2015                                           Pp. 17 – 34

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How to Qualify for a Non-leader, or the Man who should not have been President

 Zouheir A. Maalej
Department of English Language and Translation
College of Languages and Translation
King Saud University



Leadership is closely connected to the political behavior of leaders and their influence on followers. The aim of the current article is to argue that the former Tunisian interim president (henceforth, TIP) acted during his presidency as an anti-leader. The domestic and diplomatic gaffes he made from his inauguration in 2011 up to his stepping down in December 2014, cost the country numerous internal and external crises, and qualified him for losing his career as a politician. To show this, the current article combines (i) Lord & Maher’s information processing theory of leadership, (ii) Avolio & Gardner’s components of leadership, (iii) Critical Discourse Analysis, and (iv) Critical Metaphor Analysis. The corpus of the study consists of texts delivered by the TIP in public, on his own webpage, and to newspapers, which have been collected and commented upon in a book-length documentary by Bahloul (2013), and translated from French to English by the author of the current article.
Key words: CDA, Critical Metaphor Analysis, diplomatic gaffes, domestic gaffes, leadership

Cite as: Maalej,  Z. A. (2015). How to Qualify for a Non-leader, or the Man who should not have been President. Arab World English Journal, 8 (1).


Zouheir A. Maalej is a professor of cognitive linguistics at King Saud University. He has taught
undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and acted as a reader and supervisor in many MA and
PhD. on the cognitive-pragmatics and the CDA of politics and advertising. He published in
several international journals, and contributed many book chapters. He presented talks at many
international conferences, and edited a book (2005) and co-edited another (2011).