Publication: Rudolf Metz's article

Publication: Rudolf Metz's article

Rudolf Metz has published an article entitled "Democratic leadership as a political weapon: competition between fictions and practices" in the International Journal of Public Leadership!



This article aims to analyze possible interpretations of democratic leadership by revealing the implicit leadership theory (ILT) of a moral, a material and a political ideal of democracy, namely deliberative–participatory democracy (DPD), aggregative–pluralist democracy (APD) and leader democracy (LD). As special “filters,” ILT helps the author to organize and compare conflicting premises and assumptions democratic theories hold about exemplary leadership and followership.


In order to reconstruct the possible meanings of ideal leadership (challenges and political knowledge) and the ideal followership (power relations, interactions and roles) portrayed by theories, the article sets a specific template for conceptual analysis.


The author argues that there is a contest over the meaning of democratic leadership. Political leaders use leadership fictions as political weapons to mobilize possible followers, legitimize their actions and discredit opponents. The article creates a heuristic typology providing a “plural” or nonessentialist reading of actual political situations and democratic practices.


The literature usually aims to find an absolute moral understanding of leadership fitted in democracy or to reconcile the idea of leadership with democracy. Extending J. Thomas Wren's approach, this article examines competing fictions of democratic leadership by blending leadership and democracy theories."

Metz, R. (2021). Democratic leadership as a political weapon: Competition between fictions and practices. International Journal of Public Leadershipahead-of-print