The tension between ruler and ruled in democratic societies has never been satisfactorily resolved, and the competing interpretations of this relationship lie at the bottom of much modern political discourse. In this fascinating book, Thomas Wren clarifies and elevates the debates over leadership by identifying the fundamental premises and assumptions that underlie past and present understandings.
The author traces the intellectual history of the central constructs: the leader, the people, and, ultimately, the relationship between them as they seek to accomplish societal objectives. He begins with a discussion of the invented notion of the classical paragon of a ruler. Next he pursues the invention of the countervailing concept of a sovereign people, and finally, the need for the invention of a new construct - leadership - which embodies a new relation between ruler and ruled in regimes dedicated to power in the people. In doing so, he draws upon the giants of the Western intellectual tradition as well as the insights of modern historians, political scientists, sociologists and leadership scholars. The book concludes with a proposed model of leadership for a modern democratic world.
Elegantly written and masterfully argued, this comprehensive study will be essential reading for students and scholars of leadership and democracy.
J. Thomas Wren, Professor of Leadership Studies, Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond, US
Contents: Foreword Preface Prologue: Of Fictions, Implicit Theories, and Leadership in a Democracy Part I: Inventing the Leader 1. The Classical Ideal of the Leader 2. The Classical Ideal in Republics Part II: Inventing the People 3. A New Conception of the People Part III: Inventing Leadership 4. A New Social Relation 5. The Challenge of Democracy 6. James Madison and the Classical Ideal 7. Tocqueville and the Challenges of Democracy 8. Inventing Liberalism 9. Inventing Communitarianism Part IV: Reinventing Leadership 10. A New Fiction of Leadership Index