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date: 18 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Although ancient Greece has long fascinated scholars, only recently have public-choice models and social science methods been applied in an effort to understand the unique political institutions for which Greece is so famous. This emerging research provides new insights into Greek history and, more generally, into the nature of democracy, autocracy, and institutional development. In this chapter, we will review public choice-related literature on the emergence of democracy in ancient Greece, on why all of ancient Greece was so anomalously democratic, and on why some Greek poleis were more democratic than others. We will finish by discussing the institutional underpinnings of ancient Greek democracy and ancient Greek tyranny, both of which were peculiarly Greek inventions.

Keywords: democracy, autocracy, institution, ancient Greece, Classical period, poleis

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