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in ancient Greece, Italy, and Medieval Europe, an independent political unit consisting of a city and surrounding countryside. The first city-states were in Sumer, but they reached their peak in Greece. From the beginning of Greek history to its climax in the 5th and 4th cent. B.C., the Greeks were organized into city-states, of which there were several hundred. The first Italian city-states were Greek colonies. Later Etruscan and native city-states emerged, including Rome. After the fall of the Roman Empire, many Italian cities (e.g., Florence, Genoa, Venice) were city-states until the 19th cent., as were such N German cities as Bremen and Hamburg. The Greek word polis meant both city and city-state. Since the city-state was independent, different states—and the same state at different times—had a variety of governments, ranging from absolute monarchy to pure democracy. Only citizenscitizen,
member of a state, native or naturalized, who owes allegiance to the government of the state and is entitled to certain rights. Citizens may be said to enjoy the most privileged form of nationality; they are at the furthest extreme from nonnational residents of a state
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 participated in the government of the city-state, and citizenship was limited to those born of citizen parents. In the classical era, a large proportion of the city-state's population consisted of slaves. Participation by citizens in government was often limited by class distinctions. The government usually consisted of an assembly and council; the former predominated in democracies, the latter in oligarchies. Although the various city-states combined into religious or military federations, most did not endure for long in Greece, leaving it open to foreign attack by large centralized states to which it eventually submitted.


See G. Glotz, The Greek City and Its Institutions (ed. by N. Mallinson, 1930, repr. 1969); V. Ehrenberg, The Greek State (2d rev. ed. 1969, repr. 1972).


a state consisting of a sovereign city and its dependencies. Among the most famous are the great independent cities of the ancient world, such as Athens, Sparta, Carthage, and Rome
References in periodicals archive ?
They consider the philanthropy to be "a major breakthrough - the kind few citistates get - to grab public attention, gather significant cash for civic projects and reach for the stars in a goal-setting process.
Louis would not appreciate a big regional government to tackle its problems, it must also acknowledge the role public representation from the neighborhood to federal level will play in actualizing their citistate model.
The mission of the regional government would be to create a more cohesive and efficient citistate, define a new model for public decision making, and also recommend a qualified organization to keep on measuring and assisting the region's governments.
Fiscal equity should be championed, and it is recommended that all citistates consider regionwide tax-base sharing, similar to that in Minneapolis-St.
What citistates especially need to recognize is that the poverty that afflicts their very low-income neighborhoods will, in time, exact a price on the entire region in terms of social service demands, crowded courts, overburdened prisons, and reduced public safety.
The authors warn that "the right kind of citistate governance must be developed in a consultative, 'bottoms-up' process involving a wide range of civic players, neighborhood leaders up to the top level of corporate leadership.
Both citistates bemoaned their land use sprawl, their need to expand public transport, and still continuing rises in greenhouse gas emissions.
But it's hard to imagine real solutions gaining enough traction to match the immense and complex challenges of climate change unless our regions open their minds, reach out and learn from the achievements of top-achieving citistates around the world.
Citistate Advocates and the Devolution Paradigm: Both Canadian and American activists claim that national governments in Ottawa and Washington DC are too distant and favor "one-size-fits all" policy designs.
The governance prescriptions in the policy paradigm advocated by citistate activists assume the persistence of federal institutions but prescribe significant devolution of authority to the regional levels.
Although the paradigm prescribes substantial devolution, most citistate demands are closer to the "regionalized state" notion; this would require shifting of authority downward by current government leaders and sharing of some policy capacity with horizontal networks of nongovernmental actors.
But by promoting a policy paradigm emphasizing regional and transnational arrangements as the appropriate solution to global competition, the Cascadia free marketeers effectively "de-mobilized" the collective action possible around alternative paradigms advocating bioregionalism and citistate politics at smaller scales (e.