What seems like a simple concept (i.e. democracy) and a simple goal (i.e. promoting democracy both in the United States and abroad) become complicated when we ask ourselves a few, simple questions: What is democracy? Is it a set of institutions? If it is a set of institutions, how is democracy best institutionalized? Is it a way of life? How does rule by the people protect the rights of minorities? This course takes an original approach to exploring the complexity of democracy by closely examining Plato's dramatic critique of democracy, the politics of democracy and empire in classical Athens, and the actual practice of democracy in Athens. The course relies on an intensive examination of classic texts as a well as a guided simulation of Athens in 403 BCE in order to examine the value of democratic institutions. 


4 sh

Course Types

Advanced Studies


This course satisfies the political theory requirement for a major in political science. No pre-requisites.

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