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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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Patriotic Leadership in Democracy

Patriotic Leadership in Democracy

(p.212) 13 Patriotic Leadership in Democracy
Good Democratic Leadership

Haig Patapan

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the challenge of modern patriotism to good democratic leadership. It is naturally demanded of democratic leaders that they act patriotically in putting the interests of their own nation and state above those of all others, yet democratic procedures and ideals are, of their nature, universal and thus transcend the parochial demands of patriotism. This seems to present potential policy dilemmas for democratic leaders. This issue is explored theoretically by examining the nature of modern patriotism, contrasting the classical political conception of love of one’s own with the Hobbesian innovation of modern constitutionalism, and then the modern nationalism that developed in reaction to the coolness of Thomas Hobbes’s constitutional patriotism. The chapter argues that these three forms did not simply supersede one another but continue to coexist in contemporary politics; therefore, this patriotic challenge to good leadership presents a problem that democratic leaders must perpetually negotiate but cannot resolve.

Keywords:   patriotism, democratic leadership, national interest, nationalism, Thomas Hobbes, constitutionalism

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