Theme Panel: Culture and Discontents: New Approaches

Culture and Discontents: New Approaches

Recent years have seen a growth in skepticism concerning the legitimacy of democratic institutions. As tensions emerge between liberal justifications of popular rule and the outcomes of democratic procedures, the epistemic and ethical capacities of the people have become pressing topics of discussion for political scientists and pundits alike. Far from novel, these questions bring us back to the roots of democratic theory in ancient Greece. This panel will focus on this early moment in democratic theory, investigating a range of underexplored Athenian responses to the questions of what the dêmos is capable of and how these capacities should be evaluated. Looking beyond the well-known arguments of Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Politics, our panelists illuminate the breadth of ancient Greek thinking about democratic knowledge, virtue, and capacity.

Sheri Berman, Barnard College (Chair)
Kathleen R. McNamara, Georgetown University (Discussant)

“What we Talk About When we Talk about Poverty”
Cathie Jo Martin, Boston University (Author)
Tom Chevalier, Harvard University (Author)

From Pews to Politics: A Cultural Approach to Political Perspective & Strategies
Rachel Beatty Riedl, Northwestern University (Author)
Gwyneth McClendon, New York University (Author)

SARS and Health Care Delivery in India and China
Prerna Singh, Brown University (Author)

Title to be Determined
Keith A. Darden, American University (Author)