Exclusive Citizenship in Ancient Greece

Coşkun I.

ExCit Conference: Exclusive Citizenship in Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy, Bursa, Turkey, 11 - 12 December 2014, pp.11-19

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Bursa
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.11-19
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Today, if we are going to tend towards the ancient Greek democracy practice to draw inspiration, we should reveal the correct contents of these concepts and then put in relation with today. Thus, when ancient concepts are in question, we now seem to have a double duty: (1) to present the changing contents of these concepts and question their applicability to our world today directly, (2) to present whether the difference between today’s world, which distributed citizenship to “everyone” in an unconditional setting of equality by getting rid of slavery and ancient world, is a structural difference or to present the character of this difference.

We should reveal the meanings of concepts “freedom, equality and citizenship” which are the basic indications of politics nowadays and without which it is impossible to think about today’s politics. Hereby, the political character of Athens which is indicated as “home”, “homeland” for pointing at equal participation of “everyone” to politics and for politics that is not exclusive, can be useful with regard to thinking about today.

Here I will focus on the practical political life of Athens that is the most authentic example of ancient Greece and while doing that, I will follow especially the opinions of Hannah Arendt, Paul Cartledge, Luciano Canfora, Ellen Meiksins Wood and Michael Mann. Although (I’m aware of the fact that) the theories of those thinkers take one step further and seperate into various branches, they are majorly on the same page when the identification of the general character of political life is in question.