Democratic Leadership in Foreign Affairs

John Kane and Haig Patapan

in The Democratic Leader

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199650477
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739071 | DOI:
Democratic Leadership in Foreign Affairs

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The severe constraints on democratic leaders in the domestic sphere often lead them to turn to foreign affairs with some relief and hope. In a field that is imperfectly understood by most ordinary people, and in which fewer constraints are imposed on leadership action, a leader may find the freedom and opportunity to play the more genuine ‘statesman’. In the extreme case of war, he or she is granted extraordinary, almost monarchic authority for the sake of the people’s safety. Yet even here, where the leader’s authority seems most unchallengeable, it is nevertheless frequently questioned and circumscribed, and often because the leader’s understanding of what the people’s security requires and what the people will, in good conscience, permit differs. This chapter examines the way democratic leaders must try to negotiate these unique problems of international relations.

Keywords: international relations; wars; security; diplomacy

Chapter.  10352 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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