Spring 2008

Leadership, Citizens and Democracy

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-07


Ronald S. Tiersky (Section 01)


A study of democracy at home and abroad. The paradox of American democracy, or of any democracy, is that effective self-government requires a perpetual struggle between the people and their leaders. Citizens must be active but wary; governments must be efficient yet accountable. The result is that democracy is frustrating and self-contradictory, even while it is the best, or the least bad system of government. In the world order, America's claim to an international leadership role is also based on a contradiction. The United States is simultaneously a Liberal Democracy and a Great Power, caught inevitably between democratic ideals and the responsibilities and temptations of having so much power. The result is that America is simultaneously very promising and very dangerous. Limited to 25 students. Second semester. Professor Tiersky.