Course Details

Classical Athenian Law

This seminar will straddle legal history, comparative constitutional law, and a touch of political theory. Its core premise is that the basic challenge of sharing and controlling political power under conditions of inequality appears in (indeed, is constitutive of) every democratic legal system. Accordingly, students of American law can benefit from close study of a constitutional system that is both (a) foundational to the tradition of political thought that has influenced our own institutions and yet (b) characterized by highly distinct institutional choices. That study is expected to facilitate students’ greater understanding of the choices that our own institutions reflect for wrestling with the aforementioned challenge and the consequences of those choices. The intellectual content of the seminar is divided into three main modules considering the Athenian—and secondarily the American—approach to the problems of (1) judicial review and the allocation of judicial power, (2) socioeconomic inequality and managing the democratic threats associated with the concentration of wealth, and (3) membership, status and hierarchy, including forms of legal subordination associated with enslavement and foreignness.

Catalog Number: CONPUB 618
Additional Course Information: Research Writing

Course History

Spring 2023
Title: Classical Athenian Law
Faculty: Gowder, Paul A. (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 20     Actual: 7