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How the Greeks Handled Polarization

Dissertation in One Minute

In the latest installment of Harvard Griffin GSAS's Dissertation in One Minute, PhD student Davide Napoli explains how ancient Greek democracies used polarization to fuel innovation without jeopardizing civic unity. His exploration of classical Greek politics reveals that polarized dissent was not only tolerated but necessary for political legitimacy. Napoli's research extends beyond politics, exploring how political communication promoting polarized dissent also ran through Greek literature and culture–from tragedy to historiography, oratory, and philosophy. Napoli’s research offers a fresh literary and cultural perspective on classical Greece and challenges assumptions about polarized politics, urging us to envision new approaches to political communication in our fragmented communities.

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