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So what are a leader's duties beyond borders?Above the small-group level, human identity is shaped by what Benedict Anderson calls "imagined communities". Few people have direct experience of the other members of the community with which they identify. What moral obligation does this place on a particular leader such as Obama?So what should a democratically elected leader do in such circumstances? Clinton has acknowledged that he could have done more to galvanize the U.N. and other countries to save lives in Rwanda. But good leaders today are often caught between their personal cosmopolitan inclinations and their more traditional obligations to the citizens who elected them.In a world in which people are organized in national communities, a purely cosmopolitan ideal is unrealistic. Global income equalization, for example, is not a credible obligation for a national political leader, but such a leader could rally followers by saying that more should be done to reduce poverty and disease worldwide.
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