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Thinking about Leadership by Nannerl O. Keohane

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FIVE

How Does Leadership Workin a Democracy?

LEADERSHIP IS AS ESSENTIAL in a democracy as any other community, essential for all the reasons we have covered in the preceding chapters. But how can the asymmetrical influence distinctive to leadership be consistent with robust popular decision making or with sovereignty residing in the people as a whole? And how should we think about citizens in a de mocracy? When they exercise ultimate authority or take the initiative in decision making, does it make sense to call them followers?

There are two opposite ways in which leadership and democracy can be in fundamental tension. The first occurs when the exercise of popular sovereignty, or the institutional checks and balances put in place to protect that ...

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