Fall 2010

Leadership, Citizens and Democracy


Ronald S. Tiersky (Section 01)


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.

This course is a seminar discussion with regular short papers assigned, both response papers and short essays.  Papers are read for both content and writing.  An important goal of the class is to help students improve their writing.  

Fall semester.  Professor Tiersky.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010