AS IF THEY COULD BE BROUGHT TO ACCOUNT: HOW ATHENIANS MANAGED THE POLITICAL UNACCOUNTABILITY OF CITIZENS
The political unaccountability of ordinary citizens in classical Athens was originally raised as a challenge by ancient critics of democracy. In tension with that criticism, the authors argue that attention to the above challenge is consistent with a defence of Athenian democratic politics. In fact, ordinary citizens' function in the Assembly and courts implicitly included the burden of justifying their own political decisions to an imagined authority, as if they could be brought to account. Byeans of practices that encouraged this self-scrutiny, Athenians marked the challenge of citizens' political unaccountability as an unavoidable but manageable aspect of their democracy.
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Document Type: Research Article
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Publication date: January 1, 2014