Josiah Ober

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Josiah Ober

  • Constantine Mitsotakis Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences
  • Professor of Political Science
  • Professor of Classics
  • Professor, by courtesy, of Philosophy
  • Affiliated faculty at The Europe Center
Encina Hall West, Room 403 / Bldg. 20-22N


(650) 724 0868 (voice)


Josiah Ober, Mitsotakis Professor in the School of Humanities and Science, works on historical institutionalism and political theory, focusing on democratic theory and the contemporary relevance of the political thought and practice of the ancient Greek world. He is the author of Demopolis: Democracy before Liberalism (2017), The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece (2015) and other books, mostly published by Princeton University Press, including Mass and Elite in Democratic Athens (1989), Political Dissent in Democratic Athens (2008), and Democracy and Knowledge (2008). He has also published about 100 articles and chapters, including recent articles in American Political Science ReviewPhilosophical StudiesPolisPublic ChoiceCritical Review, and Transactions of the American Philological Association. Work in progress includes books on instrumental rationality in classical Greek thought and the role of civic bargains in the emergence and persistence of democratic government.