State Capacity and Organizational Learning in Classical Greece (Federica Carugati)

When and Where

Wednesday, September 14, 2022 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
LI 220
Lillian Massey Building
125 Queen's Park, Toronto, ON


Federica Carugati


State Capacity and Organizational Learning in Classical Greece

Speaker: Federica Carugati, King’s College London

Date/Time: Wednesday September 14th, 4–6pm

Location: LI 220

Abstract: State capacity is critical for development. But how do states become capacious? The literature defines state capacity in a variety of ways and identifies war and bargains as its primary drivers. In this paper, we borrow from the literature on organizations to explore the role of the state as an epistemic agent and to highlight the importance of learning processes for the development of state capacity. Our focus is on ancient Greece, and particularly on Sparta, Athens, and Macedon. Focusing on three well-documented historical cases allows us to identify the factors that facilitate or prevent learning and how those factors affect state capacity in a comparative perspective. We identify three such factors: the willingness of states to invest in research; the ability to direct resources toward projects; and “tolerance for disruption,” which enables states to incorporate innovation into existing institutional structures.


SSHRC Connections Grant (Morality and Models: Assessing Modern Approaches to the Ancient Economy)


125 Queen's Park, Toronto, ON