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The Transformation of Democracy

People sometimes say that voting is the most effective way for everyone to participate in a democracy, but that’s not the way it started. In Athens, democracy began with only men gathering in public places to decide the future of their community. How did we go from there to here? Democracy ended in ruins in Athens; will it happen that way in the United States?

Host Frank Stasio talks about the history of democracy with Brendan Boyle, professor of classics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Michael Gillespie, professor of philosophy at Duke University; Jean Dennison, professor of anthropology at UNC-Chapel Hill and author of “Colonial Entanglement: Constituting a Twenty-First Century Osage Nation” (UNC Press/2012); and Samuel Montgomery-Blinn, editor and publisher of Bull Spec, a speculative fiction magazine based out of Durham.

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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