Ancient Athens is often referred to as the birthplace of democracy and for some,  the fount of  "Western Civilization" as well. Yet slavery and a highly restrictive citizenship regime co-existed with the democratic polis in ancient Athens. By paying attention to the dynamic interactions of a highly restrictive citizenship regime, the institution of slavery, and the practice of democracy  in ancient Athens, we can better comprehend the antinomies of democratic practice in modern politics. This talk excerpted from a manuscript- in- progress, The Spectre of Race in Comparative Politics, will examine the role of racial hierarchy in modern politics, with particular attention to the nation-states of the Americas, to foreground more contemporary iterations of the relationship between  racial slavery, democracy and citizenship regimes. 

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