IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/poleco/v27y2011i1p87-103.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The egalitarian battlefield: Reflections on the origins of majority rule in archaic Greece

Author

Listed:
  • Pitsoulis, Athanassios

Abstract

We explore the emergence of formal institutions of majority rule in archaic Greece from a historical and conflict-theoretic perspective. Referring to ancient and modern sources we first conclude that institutions of majority rule entered Greek collective decision-making in the seventh century BC. We argue that this development must be seen in connection with the local economic growth pattern and the adoption of a highly idiosyncratic form of warfare, which enabled Greek city-states to mobilize a greater number of citizens for war. Military participation of citizens depends on parameters of warfare and economic parameters. We show that the reduction of the average costs of fighting, coupled with an increased decisiveness of conflict, may result in an increased military participation rate. The integration of elements of majority rule in the constitution of the city-states was the political consequence of this development.

Suggested Citation

  • Pitsoulis, Athanassios, 2011. "The egalitarian battlefield: Reflections on the origins of majority rule in archaic Greece," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 87-103, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:27:y:2011:i:1:p:87-103
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0176-2680(10)00051-0
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kaiser, Brooks A., 2007. "The Athenian Trierarchy: Mechanism Design for the Private Provision of Public Goods," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(02), pages 445-480, June.
    2. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1985. "The Expanding Domain of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(6), pages 53-68, December.
    3. Andranik Tangian, 2008. "A mathematical model of Athenian democracy," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(4), pages 537-572, December.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:20:y:1926:i:01:p:52-68_11 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bitros, George C. & Karayiannis, Anastassios D., 2008. "Values and institutions as determinants of entrepreneurship in ancient Athens," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 205-230, August.
    6. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1991. "The Technology of Conflict as an Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 130-134, May.
    7. Nicholas Kyriazis, 2009. "Financing the Athenian state: public choice in the age of Demosthenes," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 109-127, April.
    8. Fleck, Robert K & Hanssen, F Andrew, 2006. "The Origins of Democracy: A Model with Application to Ancient Greece," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 115-146, April.
    9. Carl Lyttkens, 2006. "Reflections on the Origins of the Polis," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 31-48, March.
    10. Aidt, Toke S. & Hillman, Arye L., 2008. "Enduring rents," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 545-553, September.
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:26:y:1932:i:03:p:452-469_02 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Bitros, George C. & Karayiannis, Anastassios D., 2010. "Morality, institutions and the wealth of nations: Some lessons from ancient Greece," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 68-81, March.
    13. Ian Morris, 2004. "Economic Growth in Ancient Greece," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(4), pages 709-709, December.
    14. Sebastian Coll, 2008. "The origins and evolution of democracy: an exercise in history from a constitutional economics approach," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 313-355, December.
    15. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Gerding, Henrik, 2015. "Understanding the Politics of Perikles Around 450 BC. The Benefits of an Economic Perspective," Working Papers 2015:13, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    2. Economou, Emmanouil Marios Lazaros & Kyriazis, Nicholas, 2014. "Property Rights and Democratic Values in pre-Classical Greece," MPRA Paper 57286, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Kyriazis, Nicholas & Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros, 2012. "Property rights and democratic values in Bronze Age and Archaic Greece," MPRA Paper 42399, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. George Tridimas, 2016. "Conflict, democracy and voter choice: a public choice analysis of the Athenian ostracism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 169(1), pages 137-159, October.
    5. George Tridimas, 2012. "Constitutional choice in ancient Athens: the rationality of selection to office by lot," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 1-21, March.
    6. Tridimas, George, 2012. "How democracy was achieved," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 651-658.
    7. Rosenberg, Jacob & Weiss, Avi, 2012. "Property rights and institutions in biblical society: The purchase of the Cave of the Patriarchs," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 279-285.
    8. Tridimas, George, 2015. "War, disenfranchisement and the fall of the ancient Athenian democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 102-117.
    9. Kyriazis, Nicholas & Metaxas, Theodore, 2013. "The emergence of democracy: a behavioural perspective," MPRA Paper 47146, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:27:y:2011:i:1:p:87-103. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.