Community as Leadership

Community as Leadership

New Horizons in Leadership Studies series

Gareth Edwards

This book takes a fresh look at leadership through the paradigm of community. Community as Leadership develops leadership thought through important aspects of understanding community, such as individualism, sense of belonging, friendship, social networks, symbolism, liminality, language and ethics. The book also explores more critical and postmodern perspectives of leadership and community and examines themes for future research, as well as suggesting ideas and implications for leadership learning.

Chapter 6: Language, ethics and leadership

Gareth Edwards

Subjects: politics and public policy, leadership


Ethics begins only when the good is revealed to consist in nothing other than a grasping of evil and when the authentic and the proper have no other content than the inauthentic and the improper. (Agamben, 1993, p. 12). . . . what drives the nations of the earth toward a single common destiny is the alienation from linguistic being, the uprooting of all peoples from their vital dwelling in language. (Agamben, 1993, p. 82). This chapter looks at the construction of leadership through an aspect of community – language. The link that this has with ethical notions of leadership is also reviewed and a discussion is held on the dualistic nature of ethics in leadership. Agamben’s words above, therefore, seem to resonate with this chapter as he appears to be suggesting that we can only judge what is good in comparison to what is bad and vice versa, we can only judge what is bad in comparison to what is good. He goes on to put forward that good and evil have the same state of things, ‘they are perfectly identical’ (Agamben, 1993, p. 91). This relational sense of ethics and authenticity seems to connect well to the discussions held in this chapter where ideas of community that are based on a communicative view are explored.

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