Josiah Ober, the Constantine Mitsotakis Chair in the School of Humanities and Sciences, specializes in the areas of ancient and modern political theory and historical institutionalism. His primary appointment is in Political Science; he holds a secondary appointment in the Classics and a courtesy appointment in Philosophy. His most recent book, Demopolis: Democracy before liberalism in theory and practice, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. His ongoing work focuses on rationality (ancient and modern), the theory and practice of democracy, and the politics of knowledge and innovation, Recent articles and working papers seek to explain economic growth and inequality in the ancient Greek world, the relationship between democracy and dignity, and the aggregation of expertise.
He is author or co-author of about 100 articles and chapters (many available on his Academia.edu page) and several other books, including Fortress Attica (1985), Mass and Elite in Democratic Athens (1989), The Athenian Revolution (1996), Political Dissent in Democratic Athens (1998), Athenian Legacies (2005), Democracy and Knowledge (2008), and The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece (2015). He has held residential fellowships at the National Humanities Center, Center for Hellenic Studies, Univ. of New England (Australia), Clare Hall (Cambridge), Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences , and Univ. of Sydney; research fellowships from the ACLS, NEH, and Guggenheim; and has been a visiting professor at University of Michigan, Paris I-Sorbonne, UC-Irvine, and UC-Berkeley. Before coming to Stanford he taught at Montana State University (1980-1990) and Princeton University (1990-2006).