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By Stein Ringen

Oxford college political theorist Stein Ringen deals a thought-provoking meditation at the paintings of democratic rule: how does a central authority convince the folks to simply accept its authority? each govt needs to make unpopular calls for of its voters, from levying taxes to implementing legislation and tracking compliance to laws. The problem, Ringen argues, is that strength isn't sufficient; the population should also be prepared to be led. Ringen addresses this political conundrum unabashedly, utilizing the USA and Britain as his major examples, supplying sharp evaluations and cogent analyses on how the tradition of nationwide obedience is created and nurtured. He explores the trails leaders needs to decide upon in the event that they desire to govern via authority instead of energy, or, because the thinker Immanuel Kant placed it, to “maintain order in a country of devils.”

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Extra resources for Nation of Devils: Democratic Leadership and the Problem of Obedience

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When you are in opposition you are convinced that, if only you can get through the door, you can start making things happen. ”11 Power Political scientists tend to define power as the ability to get things done. I think they have made a mistake. ”12 But that cannot be right. Whatever power is, it is not a probability. At the very least, it is what makes for a probability. ”13 This is to get ahead of things. Power is prior to control, and actors can have much power and little control or little power and much control.

Yet, when in power, he saw that “mess” was inevitable and that non-state actors could not just be put in their place in a chain of command. Only those who were weak and whom he did not need because they had no useful service to offer him did he push down and away. That was the destiny of the trade unions. Those who might have been able to stand up to him, and whom he could make use of, he co-opted. In the business community he encountered a pack of profiteers who had enriched themselves during the years of Syngman Rhee, and whom he despised and was minded to put away in jail and leave there.

In governance, the New Labour bosses were much harder than they should have been. They un- 32 HOW TO DO IT WELL AND BADLY derstood the limits of power for staying in control and were soft with their potential enemies, in particular in the financial services industry. But they did not similarly grasp the limits of power in their dealings with those who worked for them in the civil and public services. In their respective contexts, the Korean leaders were command-adverse and the British leaders command-prone.

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