What the Ancient Greeks Can Tell Us About Democracy
Posted: 6 Jun 2008 Last revised: 10 Jun 2009
Date Written: June 2008
The question of what the ancient Greeks can tell us about democracy can be answered by reference to three fields that have traditionally been pursued with little reference to one another: ancient history, classical political theory, and political science. These fields have been coming into more fruitful contact over the past 20 years, as evidenced by a spate of interdisciplinary work. Historians, political theorists, and political scientists interested in classical Greek democracy are increasingly capable of leveraging results across disciplinary lines. As a result, the classical Greek experience has more to tell us about the origins and definition of democracy, and about the relationships between participatory democracy and formal institutions, rhetoric, civic identity, political values, political criticism, war, economy, culture, and religion.
Keywords: classical theory, Greece, civic identity, political criticism, culture
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