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Keywords:

  • Leadership capital;
  • social capital

Social capital is the latest conceptual attempt to account for democracy'spersistence and, when it occurs, its success. Yet that focus neglects an essential element ofdemocracy's performance, leadership capital. Leadership capital consists of thecompetence, integrity, and capacities for performance that leaders may have or bring to bear onsociety's problems. However, it is grounded and unfolds in a society's culture andpsychology. Increasing diversity and cultural conflict place strong pressures on leadership capitalaccumulation in societies like the United States, and they require different strategies ofleadership if accumulated leadership capital is not to be depleted.