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The origins of the Polis. An economic perspective on institutional change in ancient Greece 1000-600 B.C

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  • Lyttkens, Carl Hampus

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Lund University)

Abstract

From a beginning of small isolated settlements, the city-state (polis) emerged in Greece in the course of four centuries as a political, geographical and judicial unit, with an assembly, council, magistrates and written laws. Using a rational-actor perspective, it is shown how this process was driven by competition among the members of the elite. A crucial ingredient was the gradual consolidation of boundaries, which contributed to population growth, inter-state conflicts, colonisation and a more fierce competition for power. Variations over time in the conditions for competition explain both the introduction of formal political institutions and their overthrow by tyrants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2001:17.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 15 Sep 2001
Date of revision: 30 Sep 2004
Publication status: Published in Constitutional Political Economy, 2006, pages 31-48.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2001_017

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden
Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
Web page: http://www.nek.lu.se/en
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Keywords: institutional change; ancient Greece; city-state; competition;

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  1. Robert H. Bates & Avner Greif & Margaret Levi & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 1998. "Analytic Narratives," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 6355.
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