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Ancient and Modern Democracy
Two Concepts of Liberty?


  • Date Published: January 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107020726

£ 87.99

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About the Authors
  • Ancient and Modern Democracy is a comprehensive account of Athenian democracy as a subject of criticism, admiration and scholarly debate for 2,500 years, covering the features of Athenian democracy, its importance for the English, American and French revolutions and for the debates on democracy and political liberty from the nineteenth century to the present. Discussions were always in the context of contemporary constitutional problems. Time and again they made a connection with a long-established tradition, involving both dialogue with ancient sources and with earlier phases of the reception of Antiquity. They refer either to a common cultural legacy or to specific national traditions; they often involve a mixture of political and scholarly arguments. This book elucidates the complexity of considering and constructing systems of popular self-rule.

    • Offers an analysis of the continuity and changes in a debate that has stretched over 2,500 years
    • Shows an interconnection between political theory and historical scholarship in the subject of Athenian democracy
    • By establishing political ideas in their contemporary institutional context, the book connects with a modern audience
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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107020726
    • length: 398 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 160 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.74kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The history and structure of Athenian democracy
    2. The reception of ancient constitutional theory
    3. Ancient democracy and social backwardness
    4. The American founding fathers and their emancipation from the ancient model
    5. The French Revolution and antiquity
    6. Terror and the 'cult of antiquity' in post-revolutionary discourse
    7. 'Ancient and modern liberty' - from Benjamin Constant to Max Weber
    8. German nineteenth-century ambivalence regarding Athenian democracy
    9. The 'rehabilitation' of Athenian democracy
    10. Models of democracy and constitutional policy in the nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries
    11. Democracy, fuhrer and Volksgemeinschaft
    12. Between totalitarianism and the constitutional state
    13. Conclusion: is Athens still a standard?

  • Author

    Wilfried Nippel, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
    Wilfried Nippel is a Professor Emeritus of Ancient History at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He has been an Ordinary Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities since 1997. He has written eight edited books and seven monographs, including Public Order in Ancient Rome (Cambridge, 1995). He has written more than 150 scholarly articles in German and English on subjects of ancient history, history of political thought and history of historiography.


    Keith Tribe

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