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The Democratic LeaderHow Democracy Defines, Empowers and Limits its Leaders$
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John Kane and Haig Patapan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199650477

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199650477.001.0001

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Honour and Democratic Leadership

Honour and Democratic Leadership

(p.151) 8 Honour and Democratic Leadership
The Democratic Leader

John Kane

Haig Patapan

Oxford University Press

Democracy celebrates its founders, and those who establish democratic offices, but is suspicious of anyone who actively seeks office, deriding them as ‘politicians’. Thus, well-intentioned, ambitious leaders are compelled to assume the humble demeanour of the faithful servant. Certainly, it is almost always politically fatal for a leader to assume the air of someone with a right to rule. This raises the question of why able and ambitious people should enter the notoriously difficult and demanding field of democratic politics at all, particularly when the material rewards are generally much smaller than in the business realm. This chapter addresses the question of whether democracy, by its nature, precludes great leadership or statesmanship.

Keywords:   honour, ambition, office, statesmanship

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