It is perhaps symbolic of our era that an economist, Joseph Schumpeter, produced the most influential modern theory of democracy, presented in his 1942 classic Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. As might be expected of an economist writing about democracy, he included many comparisons and analogies with capitalist markets and business activities, such as his famous definition of democracy as free competition for a free vote. But these quasi-economic features of Schumpeter’s theory have greatly overshadowed its other dimension: a wide-ranging and systematic analysis of the role of leadership in democracy.
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