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This book asks an important question often ignored by ancient historians and political scientists alike: Why did Athenian democracy work as well and for as long as it did? Josiah Ober seeks the answer by analyzing the sociology of Athenian politics and the nature of communication between elite and nonelite citizens. After a preliminary survey of the development of the Athenian "constitution," he focuses on the role of political and legal rhetoric. As jurymen and Assemblymen, the citizen masses of Athens retained important powers, and elite Athenian politicians and litigants needed to address these large bodies of ordinary citizens in terms understandable and acceptable to the audience. This book probes the social strategies behind the rhetorical tactics employed by elite speakers. A close reading of the speeches exposes both egalitarian and elitist elements in Athenian popular ideology. Ober demonstrates that the vocabulary of public speech constituted a democratic discourse that allowed the Athenians to resolve contradictions between the ideal of political equality and the reality of social inequality. His radical reevaluation of leadership and political power in classical Athens restores key elements of the social and ideological context of the first western democracy.
This book is the result of a long and fruitful conversation among practitioners of two very different fields: ancient history and political theory. The topic of the conversation is classical Greek democracy and its contemporary relevance. The nineteen contributors remain diverse in their political commitments and in their analytic approaches, but all have engaged deeply with Greek texts, with normative and historical concerns, and with each others' arguments. The issues and tensions examined here are basic to both history and political theory: revolution versus stability, freedom and equality, law and popular sovereignty, cultural ideals and social practice. While the authors are sharply critical of many aspects of Athenian society, culture, and government, they are united by a conviction that classical Athenian democracy has once again become a centrally important subject for political debate. The contributors are Benjamin R. Barber, Alan Boegehold, Paul Cartledge, Susan Guettel Cole, W. Robert Connor, Carol Dougherty, J. Peter Euben, Mogens H. Hansen, Victor D. Hanson, Carnes Lord, Philip Brook Manville, Ian Morris, Martin Ostwald, Kurt Raaflaub, Jennifer Tolbert Roberts, Barry S. Strauss, Robert W. Wallace, Sheldon S. Wolin, and Ellen Meiksins Wood.
Argues that immigration politics is a central - but overlooked - object of inquiry in the democratic thought of classical Athens. Thinkers criticized democracy's strategic investments in nativism, the shifting boundaries of citizenship, and the precarious membership that a blood-based order effects for those eligible and ineligible to claim it.
This book invites readers to join in a fresh and extensive investigation of one of Ancient Greece’s greatest inventions: democratic government. Provides an accessible, up-to-date survey of vital issues in Greek democracy. Covers democracy’s origins, growth and essential nature. Raises questions of continuing interest. Combines ancient texts in translation and recent scholarly articles. Invites the reader into a process of historical investigation. Contains maps, a glossary and an index.
The "knowledge revolution" is widely accepted, but strategic leaders now talk of the logical next step: the human capital revolution and the need to manage knowledgeable people in an entirely different way. The organization of the future must be not only nimble and flexible but also self-governing and values-driven. But what will this future organization look like? And how will it be led? In this thoughtful book, organizational expert Brook Manville and Princeton classics professor Josiah Ober suggest that the model for building the future organization may lie deep in the past. The authors argue that ancient Athenian democracy was an ingenious solution to organizing human capital through the practice of citizenship. That ancient solution holds profound lessons for today's forward-thinking managers: They must reconceive today's "employees" as "citizens." Through this provocative case study of innovation and excellence lasting two hundred years, Manville and Ober describe a surprising democratic organization that empowered tens of thousands of individuals to work together for both noble purpose and hard-edged performance. Their book offers timeless guiding principles for organizing and leading a self-governing enterprise. A unique and compelling think piece, A Company of Citizens will change the way managers envision the leadership, values, and structure of tomorrow's people-centered organizations.
For two centuries classical Athens enjoyed almost uninterrupted democratic government. This was not a parliamentary democracy of the modern sort but a direct democracy in which all citizens were free to participate in the business of government. Throughout this period Athens was the cultural centre of Greece and one of the major Greek powers. This book traces the development and operation of the political system and explores its underlying principles. Christopher Carey assesses the ancient sources of the history of Athenian democracy and evaluates criticisms of the system, ancient and modern. He also provides a virtual tour of the political cityscape of ancient Athens, describing the main political sites and structures, including the theatre. With a new chapter covering religion in the democratic city, this second edition benefits from updates throughout that incorporate the latest research and recent archaeological findings in Athens. A clearer structure and layout make the book more accessible to students, as do extra images and maps along with a timeline of key events.
This book, based on an empirical form of narration, outlines a short-medium term analysis of the social impact of austerity politics on urban life.. Set in Exarchia, a radical and anti-authoritarian neighbourhood located within the city centre of Athens, Greece, this is an ethnography examining the social struggles and grassroots mobilizations that emerged locally during the crisis. Based on over two years of fieldwork between November 2012 and early 2014, the author brings together participant observation and a period of research-action in one of Exarchia’s stekia. One particular pedestrian street is used as a case study – ‘Odos Tsamadou’ is located near Exarchia Square and here multiple social centres and political activity converge to allow the neighbourhood’s climate of solidarity and reciprocity to fully emerge. This book is specifically targeted at academics specialized in the social sciences, ethnography, cultural anthropology and urban studies and more generally at anyone interested in contemporary urban and social development. To read reviews about this book please visit: · https://www.vice.com/gr/article/mb5n7x/mia-koybenta-me-thn-italida-an8rwpologo-poy-afhse-th-rwmh-gia-na-melethsei-ta-kinhmata-sta-e3arxeia?utm_source=vicefbgrh · https://www.dinamopress.it/news/everything-continues/ · https://ilmanifesto.it/exarchia-uno-spazio-sociale-di-resistenza/ · http://media.planum.bedita.net/cb/42/(ibidem)_Planum_Readings_no.9:2018_De%20Angelis.pdf · https://www.urbanstudiesonline.com/resources/resource/book-review-austerity-and-democracy-in-athens-crisis-and-community-in-exarchia/
A bracingly provocative challenge to one of our most cherished ideas and institutions Most people believe democracy is a uniquely just form of government. They believe people have the right to an equal share of political power. And they believe that political participation is good for us—it empowers us, helps us get what we want, and tends to make us smarter, more virtuous, and more caring for one another. These are some of our most cherished ideas about democracy. But Jason Brennan says they are all wrong. In this trenchant book, Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results—and the results are not good enough. Just as defendants have a right to a fair trial, citizens have a right to competent government. But democracy is the rule of the ignorant and the irrational, and it all too often falls short. Furthermore, no one has a fundamental right to any share of political power, and exercising political power does most of us little good. On the contrary, a wide range of social science research shows that political participation and democratic deliberation actually tend to make people worse—more irrational, biased, and mean. Given this grim picture, Brennan argues that a new system of government—epistocracy, the rule of the knowledgeable—may be better than democracy, and that it's time to experiment and find out. A challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable, Against Democracy is essential reading for scholars and students of politics across the disciplines. Featuring a new preface that situates the book within the current political climate and discusses other alternatives beyond epistocracy, Against Democracy is a challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable.