Democracy: Greek Discourses, Current Challenges


The research group "Democracy: Greek Discourses, Current Challenges" was conceived in 2015 because of particular concerns shared by Brazilian and Portuguese classicists from the University of São Paulo, Federal University of São Paulo, Coimbra University, and Catholic Portuguese University - Porto. 

On the one hand, as citizens we experience with increasing apprehension the daily worldwide hijacking of democratic narratives and practices by agents that profit from the undermining of democracy itself.

On the other hand, as classicists we notice the lack of Lusophone studies about ancient democracy seen as a daily problem whose answers still help us to understand the social, intellectual, ethical, and political challenges of contemporary democracy.

The group's initiatives seek to tackle these issues by examining the construction of the concept of democracy as a political and cultural arena permanently open to conflicts and negotiations, as one can see in different authors and/or discourses of the classical period (such as historiography, tragedy, comedy, biography, oratory, philosophy, technical treatises, among others), and in the reflections that supplemented them throughout the following centuries as well. Our analyses are interdisciplinary and open to multiple theoretical approaches.

By carrying out the first project “Democracy's poiesis" (CAPES/FAPESP, 2015-2018), we organized two workshops (USP-11/2016; UC-07/2017) and produced the companion A poiesis da democracia (2018).

Now, following a seminar at UC-02/2019, we are commited to the project "Crises (staseis) and changes (metabolai). The Athenian democracy in contemporary times" (CAPES/FCT, 2019-2021), concluded with a conference which will take place at USP on 11/2022, and with the book Crises (Staseis) and Changes (Metabolai). Athenian Democracy in the Making (FUP, 2022 - in print).