The Mytilenian Debate

In Thucydides’ account of the Mytilenian debate, the citizens of Athens are discussing whether they should put to death all Mytilenian men and enslave all women and children. Mytilene, a former Athenian ally, had revolted against Athenian oppression but lost in a fight against the Athenian army. In a previous debate, the Athenians already decided [...]

Consolidated and Non-Consolidated Democracies

Democratic consolidation is understood as the process in which a new democracy becomes more established and less likely to return to a non-democratic regime. Examples of consolidated democracies are the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. These democracies have well-established political systems. The most important features of the systems are specified in the states’ [...]

Definitions of Legitimacy

Max Weber: Max Weber describes legitimacy in terms of the citizens’ willingness to obey the commands of the rulers (“Legitimitätsglaube”). Weber defines three sources of legitimacy: (1) Tradition – the system has been there for a long time and is not questioned, (2) charisma of the leader and (3) legality (trust in the justness of [...]

Analysis and Definition of Political Institutions

How should we define political institutions? According to the Stanford Encyclopedia, social institutions are commonly understood as sets of rules and norms that organise human activities within a society. Following that definition, political institutions could be defined as sets of rules and norms that organise political activity. Institutions do not necessarily have to be written [...]

Why Greece can’t leave the Euro

In his Blog The Conscience of a Liberal and in his weekly New York Times column, Paul Krugman shares his thoughts about the dilemma Greece faces as a result of its economic crisis. Briefly, Krugman detects four possible scenarios in response to the Greek crisis: Scenarios in which Greece will stick to the Euro a) [...]