(redirected from Citistates)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


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
..... Click the link for more information.
 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.
He has not written a scholarly book, but the reader will find Citistates clear, lively, and free of academic jargon.
In his book's concluding section, Peirce offers 12 hortatory citistate guideposts.
So we laid out the idea of creating, for the Philadelphia citistate, the world's highest-quality, high-tech, user-friendly information system - one introducing the region to itself and to the world.
In short, we suggested that the Philadelphia citistate should try to be as user-friendly, accessible, and customer-oriented as the most progressive corporation, thus enhancing its image across the globe.
He believes citizens and civic leaders can plan for and develop civic networks and the new collaborative leadership skills necessary to address the problems and concerns of citistates.
Reducing socio-economic disparities based on race and poverty is seen as necessary if the citistates are to prosper economically; in addition to moral arguments, economic self-interest requires more complete incorporation of disadvantaged populations.
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.
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.