Reflections on the Origins of the Polis: An Economic Perspective on Institutional Change in Ancient Greece
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Constitutional Political Economy
From a beginning of small isolated settlements around 1000 B.C., 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 competition for power. Variations over time in the conditions for competition explain both the introduction of formal political institutions and their overthrow by tyrants.
- Institutional change
- Ancient Greece
- ISSN: 1572-9966