Writing

2005
Cammack, Daniela. 2005. University of Cambridge M.Phil in Political Theory and Intellectual History dissertation “Marx, Hayek and the Relationship between Capitalism and Freedom”.Abstract
A critique of the claim that capitalism maximizes individual freedom, taking Friedrich Hayek and Karl Marx as providing the best arguments that can be made for and against that claim.
Marx, Hayek and the relationship between capitalism and freedom.pdf
2013
Cammack, Daniela. 2013. Harvard Government Department PhD dissertation. “Rethinking Athenian Democracy”.Abstract

Conventional accounts of classical Athenian democracy focus on the assembly as the central democratic institution, and emphasize the ideological and practical significance of collective wisdom, mass deliberation, and the participation of the entire citizen body in political decision-making. My research casts doubt on some of the fundamental underpinnings of this view, and points towards a new conception of Athenian democracy as "dikastic democracy," in which the control of the courts by relatively small samples of ordinary citizens played the most critical role. If right, this has significant implications for our understanding of the idea and practice of democracy both in the ancient world and today.

Rethinking Athenian Democracy.pdf
Cammack, Daniela. 2013. “Aristotle on the Virtue of the Multitude”. Political Theory 41 (2) : 175-202.Abstract

It is generally believed that one argument advanced by Aristotle in favor of the political authority of the multitude is that large groups can make better decisions by pooling their knowledge than individuals or small groups can make alone. This is supported by two analogies, one apparently involving a “potluck dinner” and the other aesthetic judgment. This article suggests that that interpretation of Aristotle’s argument is implausible given the historical context and several features of the text. It argues that Aristotle’s support for the rule of the multitude rested not on its superior knowledge but rather on his belief that the virtue of individuals can be aggregated and even amplified when they act collectively. This significantly alters our understanding of Aristotle’s political thought and presents a powerful alternative to the epistemic defenses of mass political activity popular today.

Aristotle on the Virtue of the Multitude
Cammack, Daniela. 2013. “Aristotle's Denial of Deliberation about Ends”. Polis 30 (2) : 228-50.Abstract

Although Aristotle stated that we do not deliberate about ends, it is widely agreed that he did not mean it. Eager to save him from implying that ends are irrational, scholars have argued that he did recognize deliberation about the specification of ends. This claim misunderstands Aristotle’s conceptions of both deliberation and ends. Deliberation is not the whole of reasoning: it is a subcategory concerning only practical matters within our power. Not deliberating about something thus does not preclude other forms of reflection on it, such as that involved in specification. Yet on Aristotle’s view, our ends are not in our power. They are generated not by individual choice but by nature, which in the case of human beings includes roles for both language and politics. Ends are thus beyond individual deliberation, though not beyond reason. This is no minor point. The claim that human beings can act rationally depends upon it.

Aristotle's Denial of Deliberation about Ends
2015
Cammack, Daniela. 2015. “Plato and Athenian Justice”. History of Political Thought 36 (4) : 611-42. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Plato’s interest in justice is pronounced and familiar. So too are his criticisms of Athenian democracy. This article suggests that Plato’s conceptualization of justice constituted a direct and conscious confrontation with the highly democratic mode of justice pursued in Athens’ popular courts. Yet Plato did not resist all Athenian judicial norms. His approach recalls the conceptualisation of justice assumed in Athenian homicide trials, which operated quite differently from the ordinary kind. Plato’s signal contribution to the history of political thought may be characterized as taking the conception of justice associated with homicide to be paradigmatic, with remarkably enduring consequences.

 

Plato and Athenian Justice
2019
Cammack, Daniela. 2019. “Liberal Ends, Democratic Means? A Response to Josiah Ober's Demopolis”. Polis, The Journal for Ancient Greek And Roman Political Thought 36 : 516-523. Publisher's Version cammack_2019c.pdf
Cammack, Daniela. 2019. “Aristotle, Athens and Beyond”. Classical Review 69 (1) : 63-65. Publisher's VersionAbstract
A review of Andrew Lintott, Aristotle's Political Thought in Historical Context: A New Translation and Commentary on Politics Books 5 and 6.
Lintott review AO.pdf
Cammack, Daniela. 2019. “Democracy and Decay”. In Decadence and Decay, Stockholm: Bokförlaget Stolpe , p. 103-115. democracy and decay.pdf
Cammack, Daniela. 2019. “The Dēmos in Dēmokratia”. Classical Quarterly.Abstract

 

Dêmokratia is widely glossed ‘rule by the people’ where ‘people’ (dêmos) is defined as ‘entire citizenry’. Yet from Homer to Aeschylus, dêmos indicated not the whole citizenry but a part: those who wielded political power through their participation in a collective agent—in the first instance, an assembly—as opposed to those who enjoyed political influence as individuals. First and foremost, dêmokratia signalled that supreme power had passed to this group, away from the leading men who had previously held sway. The implications for our conceptualization of democracy are profound.

 

The Demos in Demokratia.pdf
2020
Cammack, Daniela. 2020. “Review of Democracy and Goodness by John Wallach (Cambridge, 2018)”. Perspectives on Politics 18 (1) : 249-250. cammack_2020a.pdf
Cammack, Daniela. 2020. “Deliberation and Discussion in Classical Athens”. Journal of Political Philosophy.Abstract

Deliberative democracy has often been associated with classical Athens, yet how far and where such activity appeared in the classical Athenian political system is open to question. This article explores the character of the deliberation and/or discussion that took place in five Athenian political arenas: courts, assembly, council, local assemblies, and street. It finds that in democratic Athens, discussion and deliberation (in the core Greek sense of “coming to a decision”) were inversely related. The most decisive arenas (assembly, courts) were the least discursive, in the sense of being least marked by the exchange of reasons admired by many contemporary theorists, while the most discursive arenas (street, perhaps local assemblies, perhaps council) were the least decisive. This finding makes sense. Mass democracy relies ultimately on the vote, not on back-and-forth discussion. Yet does not follow that discussion was unimportant to Athenian democracy. Indeed, it seems very likely (though impossible to prove or to disprove) that the decision-making powers of ordinary citizens in the assembly and courts prompted increased discussion of political issues outside those bodies, and that such “everyday talk” affected votes.

Deliberation and Discussion in Classical Athens
Cammack, Daniela. 2020. “Were the Ancient Greeks Epistemic Democrats?”. In The Discovery of the Fact, ed. Clifford Ando and William S. Sullivan, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press , p. 9-38.Abstract

Epistemic democrats claim democracy is superior because it maximises aggregated knowledge, thus offering the best chance of arriving at correct political decisions. This argument is most commonly defended philosophically, but the ancient Greeks are said to provide historical support. This paper challenges that claim. First, it suggests that the evidence for the view that the ancient Greeks defended democracy on epistemic grounds is inadequate. Next, it examines the distinction between knowledge (epistêmê), understood as information that exists independently of our will, and judgment (gnomê or krisis), understood as a view inextricably linked to particular willing agents, and shows that the ancient Greeks understood political decision-making in terms of the latter. Finally, taking the Athenians’ relations with the Melians and the rise of Macedonia as examples of serious political problems, it argues that the standard ancient Greek approach shows a better grasp of the inherently creative character of political action.

 

Were the ancient Greeks epistemic democrats?
In Press
Cammack, Daniela. In Press. “Deliberation in Ancient Greek Assemblies”. Classical Philology.Abstract

When an ancient Greek dēmos (“people,” “assembly”) deliberated, what did it do? On one view, it engaged in a form of public conversation along the lines theorized by contemporary deliberative democrats; on another, a small number of active citizens debated before a much larger, more passive audience. Both accounts represent deliberation as an external, speech-centered activity rather than an internal, thought-centered one. The democratic ideal, it is suggested, was at least occasional participation in public speech. This article questions that interpretation. A study of βουλεύομαι, “deliberate,” and related terms from Homer to Aristotle reveals three models of deliberation: internal, dialogical, and another that I call “audience,” in which a deliberating audience came to a decision after hearing advice. Assembly deliberation was almost always represented as audience deliberation. The dēmos, or listening mass, deliberated (ἐβουλεύετο), that is came to a decision about an action in its power, while those who spoke before it advised (συνεβούλευσε). Citizens did not fall short of a democratic ideal when they did not speak publicly. To the contrary, the dēmos was expected to exercise its authority through internal reflection, culminating in a vote. This argument has profound implications for our conceptualization of ancient Greek democracy and its differences from its modern counterpart.

Deliberation in Ancient Greek Assemblies
Working Paper
Cammack, Daniela. Working Paper. “The Popular Courts in Athenian Democracy”.Abstract

[This paper supersedes "The Democratic Significance of the Athenian Courts," archived below.]

Accounts of Athenian democracy often emphasize the composition, procedures, and functions of the assembly: openness to all citizens, the right of each citizen to speak publicly, and the power of ordinary citizens to decide policy. Yet a series of legal reforms that enhanced the powers of judges at the end of the fifth century BC suggests that the Athenians perceived their popular courts as their most “demotic” institution, that is, the institution most likely to support the interests of ordinary citizens against the political elite and thus most crucial to democracy. Key features of the courts, such as greater numbers of poorer and older citizens, random selection, restrictions on speech, the secret ballot, and the power of ordinary citizens to decide justice, were more important to the idea and practice of democracy in Athens than has been recognized, with significant implications for understanding its differences from democracy today.

The Popular Courts in Athenian Democracy.pdf
Cammack, Daniela. Working Paper. “Marx, Engels and the Democratic Communist Tradition”. In Association for Political Theory 2008, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT.Abstract

Marx’s and Engels’ commitment to democracy is often doubted. This article argues that support for democratic political processes was integral to the political tradition with which they identified themselves: broadly speaking, that of support for the French Revolution, and more specifically, for the kind of democratic communism advocated during the Revolution by Gracchus Babeuf and his followers. The Babeuvistes aimed primarily at

the reinstitution of the democratic Constitution of 1793, and expected any future communist society to be run on wholly democratic lines; Marx and Engels held similar beliefs.

Cammack, Daniela. Working Paper. “The Kratos in Dêmokratia”. In American Political Science Association, 2018, Boston, MA.Abstract
What did, and did not, kratos imply in the classical democratic context? Focusing on our single most important source, the Aristotelian ‘Constitution of the Athenians’, this paper considers the meaning of kratos in relation to three proximate ‘power’ terms: archê (often translated ‘rule’ or ‘government’), kuros (‘authority’ or ‘sovereignty’), and dêmagôgia (‘demagoguery’ or more neutrally ‘dêmos-leading’). The results of this comparative lexical analysis are twofold. First, in contrast to Ober (2008, 2017), I argue that kratos implied the physical superiority of one party over another, in this case that of the collective dêmos over the political elite, including office-holders (hai archai) and political leaders (hoi dêmagôgoi). Second, the studies of kratos, kurios, archê and dêmagôgia presented here together suggest a typology of political power that may illuminate not only ancient but also modern democratic politics. Kratos, archê, kurios and dêmagôgia represented four distinct forms of power: respectively, superior physical strength, power derived from office, juridical power or jurisdiction, and rhetorical influence. Roughly, this corresponds to domination, administration, sovereignty, and leadership. In Athens, sovereignty belonged to those who dominated physically, i.e. the mass of ordinary citizens, while administrative and leadership functions were performed by weaker parties. To the extent that, in modern democracies, office-holders and political leaders are also physically supreme, the Athenian case suggests one possible cause of dissatisfaction with democracy today: the dêmos’s lack of ‘teeth’ with respect to its political elite.
The Kratos in Demokratia.pdf
Cammack, Daniela. Working Paper. “The Democratic Significance of the Classical Athenian Courts”. Decline: Decadence, Decay and Decline in History and Society.Abstract

[This paper was intended for publication in Decline: Decadence, Decay and Decline in History and Society, ed. William O'Reilly (Central European University Press, expected 2017). Since that volume has been abandoned, I have updated and revised the paper and made it available under the title "The Popular Courts in Athenian Democracy." However, since this version has been cited a few times, I archive it here.] 

Towards the end of the fifth century, the Athenians formally increased the political powers of their courts at the expense of those of the assembly. The significance of this move has been disputed, but it is agreed the aim was democratic self-restraint. I question that interpretation. There is no evidence the Athenians conceived judicial activity as a restraint on the dêmos. To the contrary, numerous sources cast the courts as the most demotic organ in the political system, and an examination of the respective compositions, procedures and functions of the assembly and courts finds several possible reasons why-inviting reconsideration not only of the conventional representation of the relationship between Athens' two supreme political institutions, but also of changes in the idea and practice of democracy between the ancient world and the present. 

decx_4.27.20.pdf