Ancient Greek History and the Social Sciences: Theory Testing and Development


If ancient Greece is a valuable comparative case study for political economists and students of institutional development, then we should be able to use this relatively vast and still underexploited body of evidence to test and develop social scientific theories. In this video Federica Carugati from Stanford University will discuss some of the most exciting recent contributions to this fast-growing literature, such as democratization, the institutional sources of economic development, and the development of constitutional and legal structures.


Acemoglu, D. and J. Robinson. 2012. Why Nations Fail. New York: Crown Publishers.


Acemoglu, D. and J. Robinson. 2016 “Paths to inclusive political institutions” in, Jari Eloranta, Eric Golson, Andrei Markevich, Nikolaus Wolf (eds.) Economic History of Warfare and State Formation, Springer 2016.

Arcenas, S. 2018. Stasis: the nature, frequency, and intensity of political violence in ancient Greece. PhD Dissertation. Stanford University.

Carugati, F. and Weingast, B.R. (2018) “Rethinking Mass and Elite: Decision-Making in the Athenian Law-courts.” In Canevaro, M., Gray, B., Erskine, A., & Ober, J. (Eds.) Ancient Greek History and Contemporary Social Science. (Edinburgh Leventis Studies). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Carugati, F. How to Build a constitution: Constitution-Making, Democracy and Growth in Classical Athens. In progress.

Carugati, F., G. Hadfield and B.R. Weingast, (in progress) Achieving Inclusion: Extending Access to the Rule of Law in Ancient Athens.

Carugati, F., G. Hadfield and B.R. Weingast, 2015. “Building Legal Order in Ancient Athens,” Journal of Legal Analysis.

Carugati, F., R. Calvert and B.R. Weingast (in progress) “Constitutional Litigation in Ancient Athens: Judicial Review by the People Themselves.”

Fleck, R.K. and F.A. Hanssen, The Origins of Democracy: A Model with Application to Ancient Greece, The Journal of Law & Economics. Vol. 49, No. 1 (April 2006), pp. 115-146

Forsdyke, S. (2005). Exile, ostracism, and democracy: the politics of expulsion in ancient Greece. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Ober, J. 2008 Democracy and Knowledge, Princeton University Press.