Rediscovering Greek Institutions: New Institutionalist Approaches to Greek History

Mirko Canevaro (Editor), Matteo Barbato (Editor), Alberto Esu (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract / Description of output

The volume volume sets a new agenda for the study of ancient Greek institutions by promoting a theoretically informed approach based primarily on the available range of New Institutionalisms in political science. The study of institutions, in their constitutional design and legal procedures, has always been one of the most productive branches of Greek history. In recent decades, however, many scholars abandoned institutional analysis in favour of sociological and anthropological approaches which emphasise the salience of cultural factors, wider social dynamics, ideology, conflict, as well as extra-institutional networks and so-called free spaces. This shift has often been met, from institutional historians and epigraphists, with a certain level of entrenchment and refusal to consider these wider dimensions, in favour of minute constitutional analysis only. This volume aims to go beyond this dichotomy between institutionalist and extra-institutionalist approaches, bridging them through a more capacious and theoretically sophisticated understanding of what institutions are. As shown by many variants of New Institutionalism, institutions encompass formal rules and procedures but also social, ideological and behavioural factors. The chapters in the volume thus explore a broad range of themes concerning the political and social experience of the Greek polis and show that institutional analysis – once properly conceptualised and approached – can provide us with a single yet multifaceted analytical tool for understanding the diverse drives of individual and collective behaviour in Greek communities.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 Feb 2023

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