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Although deliberative democracy is flourishing as a political theory, there is a need to properly acknowledge and theorize upon the role of leadership in deliberative processes. Leaders arise in all political situations for traceable reasons and are an essential element of decision-making. Because deliberative democrats emphasize the necessity of deliberation between free and equal citizens for legitimate decision-making, this stands in stark contrast with the emergence and existence of leadersdoi:10.16997/jdd.126 fatcat:6imktxvqsvee5ce5k5qdw23n6e