Josiah Ober is a senior fellow (by courtesy) at the Hoover Institution. Ober is the Markos & Eleni Kounalakis Chair in Honor of Constantine Mitsotakis in the Department of Classics, professor of political science and classics, and professor of philosophy (by courtesy) at Stanford University, where he is the founder and currently the faculty director of the Stanford Civics Initiative (https://civics.stanford.edu). Ober holds a BA in history from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in history from the University of Michigan. He joined the Stanford faculty in 2006, after previously teaching at Princeton and Montana State Universities. He has also served as chairman of Princeton’s Classics Department and of Stanford’s Political Science Department.

Ober’s scholarship focuses on historical institutionalism and political theory, especially democratic theory and the contemporary relevance of the political thought and practice of the ancient Greek world. He is the author of The Greeks and the RationalThe Discovery of Practical Reason (2022), Demopolis: Democracy before Liberalism (2017),The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece (2015), and a number of other books, most published by Princeton University Press. He has also published about 100 articles and chapters, including recent articles in American Political Science ReviewPhilosophical StudiesPolisPublic ChoiceCritical Review, and Transactions of the American Philological Association. Work in progress includes a book on the role of civic bargains in the emergence and persistence of democratic government.

At Hoover, Ober is working to develop the Civics Initiative, a joint educational project of a group of Stanford faculty members and Hoover fellows. The participants in the initiative are united by a belief that US universities have a responsibility to offer students an education that will promote their flourishing as human beings, their judgment as moral agents, and their participation in society as democratic citizens.

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