A community of communities : associations and democracy in classical Athens

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This dissertation examines the relationship between associations and democracy in Classical Athens. It seeks to test some of the main hypotheses of modern theorists of social capital in the ancient Athenian context. I argue that civil associations of a certain type and democratic institutions roughly co-vary in Athenian history, and suggest a couple of mechanisms that may have linked the two phenomena. In my main example, I show how Athenians outsourced the task of defining the citizenry to a series of associations. In doing so, they helped minimize their reliance on a central state, dispersing authority and information among a network of small groups.


Type of resource text
Form electronic; electronic resource; remote
Extent 1 online resource.
Publication date 2013
Issuance monographic
Language English


Associated with Kierstead, James Charles
Associated with Stanford University, Department of Classics.
Primary advisor Ober, Josiah
Thesis advisor Ober, Josiah
Thesis advisor Morris, Ian
Thesis advisor Nightingale, Andrea Wilson
Advisor Morris, Ian
Advisor Nightingale, Andrea Wilson


Genre Theses

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility James Charles Kierstead.
Note Submitted to the Department of Classics.
Thesis Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2013.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2013 by James Charles Kierstead
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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