Honour and Democratic Leadership

John Kane and Haig Patapan

in The Democratic Leader

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

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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

Chapter.  7497 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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