chapter  21
Leaders, Followers and Political Scientists
ByHugh Donald Forbes
Pages 14

What should future politicians know as a result of their studies in university? Should we be disturbed by how little relevant formal education many of our political leaders have before they take their places in our legislative assemblies and around our cabinet tables? Admittedly, future leaders are few in number and hard to identify when they are young, so perhaps we political scientists are right to speak of our contribution to the education of future citizens when we are feeling public-spirited and want to show others the value of our pursuits. (Amongst ourselves, I find, we tend to speak and write about what future political scientists should know.) Anyone teaching future political scientists – especially our graduate students, the future teachers of some future politicians – should consider the leadership question, however, even if their training, circumstances and professional responsibilities dictate that they teach statistics and research design rather than politics.