Posted by Trisha Janelle Gragera
International Breakfast - May 15
RCNY's May 15th International Breakfast Meeting featured speaker Professor Athanasios Efstathiou, Head of the History Department & Director of Centre of Study of the Ancient World at the Ionian University-Corfu Greece. He spoke on "The Athenian Democracy and the Foundation of Modern Democracy."
    Read more about Prof. Efstathiou's topic & the meeting inside.



RCNY International Breakfast at the UN
Report by Trisha Janelle Gragera


RCNY's May 15th International Breakfast Meeting featured speaker Professor Athanasios Efstathiou, Head of the History Department & Director of Centre of Study of the Ancient World at the Ionian University-Corfu Greece, who spoke on "The Athenian Democracy and the Foundation of Modern Democracy." Efstathiou opened by describing how although the democracy in Athens was an imperfect one--in that it excluded many groups of people--it is often cited to be the foundation and most used governmental framework in the modern world. He referenced the Aristotelian Constitution of Athenians, a written document discovered in the late 1800s as the source of much of the current research and understanding of the system used in Athens during the Classical Times. Within this document, it described details about citizen responsibilities, measures of accountability, and shared philosophies that reflected a direct democratic system that emphasized the need for active & educated participation of its citizens in that they shared both the work and responsibility of ensuring the proper functioning of their society.

Following the professor's talk, there was a lively discussion amongst the members of the club and international visitors on the similarities and differences between Athenian Democracy and Modern Democracy, particularly that of the United States. The discussion reflected upon the limitations of our modern times that restrict our capacity to fully employ the Athenian Methods which include an array of factors such as the larger populations, limited education & participation of citizens in the processes, and the increasing globalization. Nonetheless, Efstathiou emphasizes the need to reflect & revisit the principles described in these foundational documents to gain a greater understanding of our current times and how we may move forward in strengthening democracy around the world.

Photos from the Meeting











 
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