How Democracy Survives, with Author Josiah Ober, Ph.D.

Is democracy in trouble? Many Americans believe so: recent polls consistently rank “threats to democracy” as one of respondents’ top concerns.

Civics Bargain book cover

In the new book The Civic Bargain, authors Brook Manville and Josiah Ober look to history for examples of democracies under threat. By examining the ways in which historical democracies confronted their own challenges, the authors are able to distill lessons and principles that can benefit us today.


About the Speaker

Author Josiah Ober

Josiah Ober, Ph.D., the Constantine Mitsotakis Chair in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, specializes in the areas of ancient and modern political theory and historical institutionalism. His primary appointment is in Political Science; he holds a secondary appointment in the Classics and courtesy appointments in Philosophy and the Hoover Institution. His books include The Greeks and the Rational: The discovery of practical reason and Demopolis: Democracy before liberalism in theory and practice. His ongoing work focuses on rationality (ancient and modern), the theory and practice of democracy, and the politics of knowledge and innovation, Recent articles and working papers address AI ethics, socio-political systems, economic growth and inequality, the relationship between democracy and dignity, and the aggregation of expertise.

He is author or co-author of about 100 articles and chapters and several other books, including Fortress AtticaMass and Elite in Democratic AthensThe Athenian RevolutionPolitical Dissent in Democratic AthensAthenian LegaciesDemocracy and Knowledge, and The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece

Liam Julian | Moderator

Liam Julian is director of public policy for the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy. He was previously managing editor of Policy Review magazine in Washington, D.C. His writing and commentary on public policy topics has appeared in a variety of publications such as The Washington Post, The Atlantic, City Journal, and National Review and on programs such as NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Mr. Julian also spent time working with the College Board, where he oversaw development of Advanced Placement curricula, including the redesign of the AP U.S. Government and Politics course. From 2006 to 2013, he was a Hoover Institution research fellow at Stanford University.