In one of his definitions or accounts of a constitution, or politeia, in Politics Book III, Aristotle defines a constitution as an ‘order’ taxis of ‘offices’. A constitution is an organisation that transmutes what would otherwise be sheer power into the lineaments of authority, by defining offices in terms of expectations and practices of accountability. Beginning from the aftermath of a period of unaccountable power in ancient Athens, this lecture explores the price of unaccountability – when officials are in power but not in office – and how accountability can be restored.
This is a joint event with the Royal Institute of Philosophy.
Professor Melissa Lane, Class of 1943 Professor of Politics and Director of the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA