Political Dissent In Democratic Athens

Author: Josiah Ober
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400822718
Size: 47.68 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
View: 1592
Download Read Online

Political Dissent In Democratic Athens from the Author: Josiah Ober. How and why did the Western tradition of political theorizing arise in Athens during the late fifth and fourth centuries B.C.? By interweaving intellectual history with political philosophy and literary analysis, Josiah Ober argues that the tradition originated in a high-stakes debate about democracy. Since elite Greek intellectuals tended to assume that ordinary men were incapable of ruling themselves, the longevity and resilience of Athenian popular rule presented a problem: how to explain the apparent success of a regime "irrationally" based on the inherent wisdom and practical efficacy of decisions made by non-elite citizens? The problem became acute after two oligarchic coups d' tat in the late fifth century B.C. The generosity and statesmanship that democrats showed after regaining political power contrasted starkly with the oligarchs' violence and corruption. Since it was no longer self-evident that "better men" meant "better government," critics of democracy sought new arguments to explain the relationship among politics, ethics, and morality. Ober offers fresh readings of the political works of Thucydides, Plato, and Aristotle, among others, by placing them in the context of a competitive community of dissident writers. These thinkers struggled against both democratic ideology and intellectual rivals to articulate the best and most influential criticism of popular rule. The competitive Athenian environment stimulated a century of brilliant literary and conceptual innovation. Through Ober's re-creation of an ancient intellectual milieu, early Western political thought emerges not just as a "footnote to Plato," but as a dissident commentary on the first Western democracy.

Democracy And Knowledge

Author: Josiah Ober
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400828807
Size: 21.66 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
View: 641
Download Read Online

Democracy And Knowledge from the Author: Josiah Ober. When does democracy work well, and why? Is democracy the best form of government? These questions are of supreme importance today as the United States seeks to promote its democratic values abroad. Democracy and Knowledge is the first book to look to ancient Athens to explain how and why directly democratic government by the people produces wealth, power, and security. Combining a history of Athens with contemporary theories of collective action and rational choice developed by economists and political scientists, Josiah Ober examines Athenian democracy's unique contribution to the ancient Greek city-state's remarkable success, and demonstrates the valuable lessons Athenian political practices hold for us today. He argues that the key to Athens's success lay in how the city-state managed and organized the aggregation and distribution of knowledge among its citizens. Ober explores the institutional contexts of democratic knowledge management, including the use of social networks for collecting information, publicity for building common knowledge, and open access for lowering transaction costs. He explains why a government's attempt to dam the flow of information makes democracy stumble. Democratic participation and deliberation consume state resources and social energy. Yet as Ober shows, the benefits of a well-designed democracy far outweigh its costs. Understanding how democracy can lead to prosperity and security is among the most pressing political challenges of modern times. Democracy and Knowledge reveals how ancient Greek politics can help us transcend the democratic dilemmas that confront the world today.

The Athenian Revolution

Author: Josiah Ober
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691001906
Size: 10.71 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
View: 216
Download Read Online

The Athenian Revolution from the Author: Josiah Ober. Eleven essays on Athenian democracy written and published between 1983 and 1993. They examine a variety of different themes including the development of an ideology of democracy, and how it worked in practice; the Athenian Revolution of 508/7 BC; the rules of war in Classical Greece; Thuycidides, Pericles, and the strategy of defence; power and oratory in democratic Athens; the Polis as a society.

Mass And Elite In Democratic Athens

Author: Josiah Ober
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780691028644
Size: 17.21 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
View: 4437
Download Read Online

Mass And Elite In Democratic Athens from the Author: Josiah Ober. 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.

Athenian Legacies

Author: Josiah Ober
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691120959
Size: 21.11 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
View: 4871
Download Read Online

Athenian Legacies from the Author: Josiah Ober. How do communities survive catastrophe? Using classical Athens as its case study, this book argues that if a democratic community is to survive over time, its people must choose to go on together. That choice often entails hardship and hard bargains. In good times, going on together presents few difficulties. But in the face of loss, disruption, and civil war, it requires tragic sacrifices and agonizing compromises. Athenian Legacies demonstrates with flair and verve how the people of one influential political community rebuilt their democratic government, rewove their social fabric, and, through thick and thin, went on together. The book's essays address amnesty, civic education, and institutional innovation in early Athens, a city that built and lost an empire while experiencing plague, war, economic trauma, and civil conflict. As Ober vividly demonstrates, Athenians became adept at collective survival. They conjoined a cultural commitment to government by the people with new institutions that captured the social and technical knowledge of a diverse population to recover from revolution, foreign occupation, and the ravages of war. Ober provides insight into notorious instances of Athenian injustice, explaining why slaves, women, and foreign residents willingly risked their lives to support a regime in which they were systematically mistreated. He answers the question of why Socrates never left a city he said was badly governed. At a time when social scientists debate the cultural grounding necessary to foster democracy, Athenian Legacies advances new arguments about the role of diversity and the relevance of shared understanding of the past in creating democracies that flourish when the going gets rough.

Threshold Of Democracy

Author: Josiah Ober
Publisher: W. W. Norton
ISBN: 9780393938876
Size: 18.38 MB
Format: PDF
View: 1742
Download Read Online

Threshold Of Democracy from the Author: Josiah Ober. A Norton original in the Reacting to the Past series, The Threshold of Democracy re-creates the intellectual dynamics of one of the most formative periods in western history.

Economic Equality And Direct Democracy In Ancient Athens

Author: Larry Patriquin
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137503483
Size: 48.75 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
View: 4896
Download Read Online

Economic Equality And Direct Democracy In Ancient Athens from the Author: Larry Patriquin. This book argues that ancient democracy did not stop at the door of economic democracy, and that ancient Athens has much to tell us about the relationship between political equality and economic equality. Athenian democracy rested on a foundation of general economic equality, which enabled citizens to challenge their exclusion from politics.

The Edinburgh Companion To The History Of Democracy

Author: Benjamin Isakhan
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 0748653686
Size: 41.32 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
View: 7232
Download Read Online

The Edinburgh Companion To The History Of Democracy from the Author: Benjamin Isakhan. Takes a fresh look at the history of democracy, broadening the traditional view with previously unexplored examples. This substantial reference work critically re-examines the history of democracy, from ancient history to possible directions it may take in the future. 44 chapters explore the origins of democracy and explore new - and sometimes surprising - examples from around the world. Each of the 9 parts introduces the period, followed by 3 to 7 case studies.

Origins Of Democracy In Ancient Greece

Author: Kurt A. Raaflaub
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520245628
Size: 38.75 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
View: 3264
Download Read Online

Origins Of Democracy In Ancient Greece from the Author: Kurt A. Raaflaub. "A balanced, high-quality analysis of the developing nature of Athenian political society and its relationship to 'democracy' as a timeless concept."—Mark Munn, author of The School of History

The Rise And Fall Of Classical Greece

Author: Josiah Ober
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400865557
Size: 80.76 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
View: 1714
Download Read Online

The Rise And Fall Of Classical Greece from the Author: Josiah Ober. Lord Byron described Greece as great, fallen, and immortal, a characterization more apt than he knew. Through most of its long history, Greece was poor. But in the classical era, Greece was densely populated and highly urbanized. Many surprisingly healthy Greeks lived in remarkably big houses and worked for high wages at specialized occupations. Middle-class spending drove sustained economic growth and classical wealth produced a stunning cultural efflorescence lasting hundreds of years. Why did Greece reach such heights in the classical period—and why only then? And how, after "the Greek miracle" had endured for centuries, did the Macedonians defeat the Greeks, seemingly bringing an end to their glory? Drawing on a massive body of newly available data and employing novel approaches to evidence, Josiah Ober offers a major new history of classical Greece and an unprecedented account of its rise and fall. Ober argues that Greece's rise was no miracle but rather the result of political breakthroughs and economic development. The extraordinary emergence of citizen-centered city-states transformed Greece into a society that defeated the mighty Persian Empire. Yet Philip and Alexander of Macedon were able to beat the Greeks in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BCE, a victory made possible by the Macedonians' appropriation of Greek innovations. After Alexander's death, battle-hardened warlords fought ruthlessly over the remnants of his empire. But Greek cities remained populous and wealthy, their economy and culture surviving to be passed on to the Romans—and to us. A compelling narrative filled with uncanny modern parallels, this is a book for anyone interested in how great civilizations are born and die. This book is based on evidence available on a new interactive website. To learn more, please visit: http://polis.stanford.edu/.