Democracy and war in ancient Athens and today

Pritchard, David M. (2015) Democracy and war in ancient Athens and today. Greece and Rome, 62 2: 140-154. doi:10.1017/S0017383515000029

Author Pritchard, David M.
Title Democracy and war in ancient Athens and today
Journal name Greece and Rome   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0017-3835
Publication date 2015-10-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0017383515000029
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 62
Issue 2
Start page 140
End page 154
Total pages 15
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language eng
Abstract Ancient Athens developed democracy to a higher level than any other state before modern times. It was the leading cultural innovator of its age. This state is rightly revered for its political and cultural achievements. What is less well known is its extraordinary record of military success. Athens transformed ancient warfare and became one of the ancient world's superpowers. There is a strong case that democracy was a major reason for this success. The military impact of Athenian democracy was twofold. The competition of elite performers before non-elite adjudicators resulted in a pro-war culture, which encouraged Athenians in increasing numbers to join the armed forces and to vote for war. All this was offset by Athenian democracy's rigorous debating of war, which reduced the risks of Athenian cultural militarism. It also made military reforms easier and developed the initiative of the state's generals, hoplites, and sailors. Political scientists have long viewed Athenian democracy as a source of fresh ideas. At present they cannot satisfactorily explain the war-making of modern democracies. Consequently ancient history can provide political science with new lines of enquiry into how democracy affects international relations today.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
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Created: Tue, 02 Feb 2016, 22:17:44 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry