Dyson on Mandela and Leaders over at Monkey Cage

Over at the Monkey Cage, Professor Stephen Dyson posted about the dangers of minimizing the role of political leaders. From the essay: “In the explanations of historians, the reporting of journalists, and the political decisions of citizens, leaders often play the role of personifying abstract trends, ideas, and forces, and offering a human connection between politics and life. People learn, understand, and are motivated to take action by compelling narratives, and compelling narratives involve individual human beings. A worthy goal of science is to provide systematic, rigorous knowledge about issues of social importance. But science should also engage with the moral and empathetic possibilities that come from taking leaders seriously.”

In this debate over the power and impact of leaders, Andrew Sullivan sided with Dyson.


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