Democracy, Ancient and Modern!

A roundtable discussion
“The Idea of Democracy, A 2,600-year-old Experiment: Success or Failure?”
Thursday, September 29, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
Duke Auditorium, Olin Hall, Room 124

The eve of the 2016 presidential election is an appropriate time to consider the “Big Picture” of the state of our democracy. In popular American discourse “democracy” is understood as a natural or inevitable political condition and other forms of social contracts – socialism, communism, monarchy, oligarchy, etc. – are mistrusted and viewed as inferior. However, when examining the long span of human history we see that democracy, far from being natural or inevitable, is a relatively rare form of government and one which has yet to prove its long-term sustainability. In this colloquium, three speakers will describe the “state of democracy” in three specific contexts – Ancient Athens in the 5th century B.C., the American Colonies in the late 18th century A.D., and the contemporary United States. Who was empowered with a vote in these contexts? What was the driving ideology in place? What was the interplay between politics and the economy in each of these places? By stepping away from our preconceived ideas of democracy as a natural, inevitable, and ideal form of government, we are perhaps better able to see its evolutionary trajectory from ancient to modern times and to predict the future of this still experimental form of human social contract.

Presenters:
Ancient Athenian Democracy: Dr. Evi Gorogianni, Anthropology & Classical Studies
Early American Democracy: Dr. Gina Martino, History
Modern American Democracy: Dr. John Green, Political Science
Moderator: Mr. Larry Tucker, Law

For questions, please contact Dr. Timothy Matney (matney@uakron.edu), 330-972-6892

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