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Hume's PoliticsCoordination and Crisis in the History of England$
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Andrew Sabl

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691134208

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691134208.001.0001

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Leadership and Constitutional Crises

Leadership and Constitutional Crises

Chapter:
(p.157) Chapter 5 Leadership and Constitutional Crises
Source:
Hume's Politics
Author(s):

Andrew Sabl

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691134208.003.0006

This chapter talks about what leadership can do to repair breaches in political conventions or to maintain them in the face of new configurations of power. When there are no stable political conventions at all—or when conquest or radical revolutions have torn existing ones up at the roots—leadership is as Machiavelli portrayed it in the Prince: a matter of force and guile, personal charisma and deliberate terror, whatever will convince people that the new leader's rule is relatively durable. But when long experience and relative satisfaction with the fruits of fundamental conventions have cemented the authority of an entire constitutional order, leadership takes the peaceful, bloodless form that political theorists rarely regard as the occasion of great heroism.

Keywords:   leadership, political conventions, power, radical revolutions, political theorists

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