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Dangerous CounselAccountability and Advice in Ancient Greece$
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Matthew Landauer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226654010

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226653822.001.0001

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(p.179) Conclusion
Dangerous Counsel

Matthew Landauer

University of Chicago Press

The conclusion brings together the analyses of the previous chapters to explicate the ways in which fifth- and fourth- century sources used the demos-tyrant analogy to gain analytical leverage on a cluster of political concepts, including accountability, advice, responsibility, and control. In doing so, the authors under consideration reveal themselves neither as rejectionist critics of democracy nor as engaged in a sympathetic project aiming to call Athenian democracy back to the best version of itself. Instead they used the demos-tyrant analogy, and a consideration of the politics of accountability and advice, to articulate a set of fundamental political questions and confront a series of difficult tensions political actors may face. Athenian democracy was committed both to political accountability and to a politics grounded in good counsel and frank discussion. Yet a commitment to both values does not guarantee that they will always fit neatly together or that institutions can be easily designed to facilitate both. In explicating that trade-off and dramatizing its stakes, the Greek authors discussed in the book offer reflections on politics that continue to resonate today.

Keywords:   accountability, advice, democracy, demos-tyrant analogy

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