Josiah OberSep 26, 2023
Bargaining for Democracy
A Conversation with Josiah Ober on Ancients and Moderns
Princeton University Press 2023
Amidst increasing acrimony and political strain, many worry that democratic governance has an expiration date. To answer these concerns, Josiah Ober looks to the ancients. Here, he discusses his recent book (co-authored with Brook Manville), The Civic Bargain: How Democracies Survive (Princeton UP, 2023). How did democracies like Athens, Rome, and England overcome the challenges that accompanied wealth and expansion? How did the ancients influence the American Founders? What lessons can they teach us for preserving democracy today?
Josiah Ober is the Constantine Mitsotakis Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. In addition to The Civic Bargain, he is the author of The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece, Democracy and Knowledge: Innovation and Learning in Classical Athens, and The Greeks and the Rational: The Discovery of Practical Reason. He is also the Director of the Stanford Civics Initiative.