Federica Carugati (Stanford), "Creating a Constitution: Law, Democracy and Growth in Ancient Athens"

Friday, January 18, 2019

12:15 pm

110-112 Map

Sponsored by:
Department of Classics

How do stable, growth-enhancing constitutional structures emerge and endure? Creating a Constitution analyzes constitution-building in ancient Athens. Well-documented and remarkably successful, Athens was smaller than most modern nations and simpler in terms of institutional structure. As such, Athens provides a unique laboratory to study the process and outcomes of constitution-building. The case of Athens suggests that stable, growth-enhancing constitutions require a set of steps: first, a consensus on a set of shared values capable of commanding support over time; second, a self-enforcing institutional structure that reflects those values; and third, regulatory mechanisms for policy making that enable tradeoffs of inclusion. Such tradeoffs foster political stability and economic prosperity through a gradual expansion of institutional access across the domains of politics, economics, law and society. Combining languages and methods from ancient history, political economy, and institutional analysis, the book reconstructs the role of Athens’ constitution in promoting democracy and development in a post-war setting, and provides an account of how desirable goals that we strive to promote in modern societies were once achieved in the absence of complex constitutional arrangements.

Federica Carugati is a Program Director at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Prior to joining Stanford, Federica was the Associate Director of the Ostrom Workshop and a Visiting Assistant Professor in Political Science and Law at Indiana University, Bloomington. She holds a PhD in Classics and MA in Political Science from Stanford. Her research analyzes the emergence and evolution of institutions in ancient Athens, and the lessons that these processes hold for the theory and practice of development today. Federica's book Creating a Constitution: Law, Democracy and Growth in Ancient Athens is forthcoming with Princeton University Press and will be the subject of the talk.

Friday, January 18, 2019
12:15 pm – 1:30 pm
110-112 Map

This event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.

If you cannot attend, consider watching remotely at https://stanford.zoom.us/j/991280323.


Webcast Lecture / Reading International Humanities 

General Public, Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni/Friends
650-723-0479, classics@stanford.edu