HKS Authors

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Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus


Public-opinion polls show that citizens in many democracies are unhappy with their leaders. This is particularly true in the United Kingdom, where a number of members of Parliament have used their housing allowances to enhance their income, sometimes legally and sometimes not. Some analysts predict that only half of Britain's parliamentarians will be returned in next year's election. "[W]hatever the failures of particular British legislators, the issues go further than merely allowing voters to "throw the rascals out." There is also a question of how successful leadership is taught and learned in a democracy. A successful democracy requires leadership to be widespread throughout government and civil society. Citizens who express concern about leadership need to learn not only how to judge it, but how to practice it themselves."


Nye, Jr., Joseph S. "How Do You Teach and Learn Successful Leadership in a Democracy?" Daily Star (Lebanon), June 12, 2009.