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Forthcoming events

Ancient Athens today: debates about democracy

Josine Blok, Utrecht University

With a few weeks to go to parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, democracy is omnipresent everywhere as the place where the action is. But what does democracy mean, what can citizens expect and what can the state expect of its citizens? For some critics, our present day democracy is failing in its aims and should be changed, expanded or even discarded. In current debates on these issues, classical Athens features regularly as a possible source of inspiration of true democracy. How did the system work in Athens, and does it indeed offer ideas and practices that we could use to the benefit of our own system today?

Prof. dr. J.H. (Josine) Blok is professor of Ancient History and specialises in the history of archaic and classical Greece. Her present research revolves around theory and practice of citizenship in the ancient Greek world, especially in classical Athens, also from a comparative perspective with citizenship in present-day democracies.

Date and time: 9 February 2017, 13.45 - 15.30

Place: Raadszaal, UCR

All interested are welcome to attend.


Previous Kairos Guest Speakers

Prof. dr. Leonard Rutgers (Utrecht University) "The Ancient Jewish Diaspora between Integration and Isolation", February 24, 2015.

Conference War, Identity and Cultural Heritage on December 4th, 2015. Find the program here and the poster here.

Dr. Jasper van der Steen (Leiden University, History department) “Memory Wars: The Political Use of the Past in the Early Seventeenth-Century Low Countries”, September 24, 2014.

Dr. Floris van den Eijnde (Utrecht University, Ancient history department) “Feasts, Festivals and Politics: The Emergence of the Athenian Polis”, October 6, 2014.

Prof. dr. Onno van Nijf (University of Groningen, Ancient history department) “Civic Mirrors: Monumental Honours and Political Rhetoric in the Cities of the Roman Empire”, May 7, 2014.

Prof. dr. Wiljan van den Akker (Utrecht University, Dutch department & Faculty Dean), “How to turn a dog into a strawberry: On creativity”, April 2, 2014.

Prof. dr. Wijnand Mijnhardt (Utrecht University, Cultural history department), “Science in transition: Concepts and controversies”, March 12, 2014.

Prof. dr. David Zarefsky (North Western University, Illinois, USA, Communication department) “Rhetoric and US Politics”, November 17, 2013​.