Can the masses be trusted with political power? Is a political elite necessary to run the state? Is majority rule the only way to make decisions in a democracy? There is no pre-modern case study for democracy that is better attested in the evidence, and more thoroughly studied, than Classical Athenian democracy. Professor Mirko Canevaro, from the University of Edinburgh, introduces the workings of the Athenian democratic machinery, at the same time reflecting on the nature, and the pitfalls, of the power of the demos, in dialogue with contemporary issues about democratic representation, expertise, and the crisis of majoritarianism.
Based on an online event, hosted by the Hellenic Community of Edinburgh, that took place in June 2021.