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Good Democratic LeadershipOn Prudence and Judgment in Modern Democracies$
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John Kane and Haig Patapan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199683840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199683840.001.0001

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Judgment and Democratic Leadership

Judgment and Democratic Leadership

(p.128) 8 Judgment and Democratic Leadership
Good Democratic Leadership

Ian Shapiro

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the qualities required of good leaders—tactical and strategic judgment, empathy, moral judgment, a good deal of luck—but also notes the importance of courage. It demonstrates the latter point by examining the long and difficult negotiations between F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela that led to the new democratic South Africa. The unlikelihood of this alliance holding under the pressure of mutual mistrust and the spoiling maneuvers of extremists on either side meant that the leaders had to take a strategically hopeful but very risky stance. The positive outcome achieved was a tribute to the courage and leadership shown by both men but never a foregone conclusion, a point demonstrated by a comparison with the cases of Northern Irish and Palestinian–Israeli negotiations. Lastly, the chapter notes that democracy depends absolutely on leaders relinquishing their hold on power when the time comes.

Keywords:   good leadership, de Klerk, Mandela, courage, political alliances, power

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