From the beginning of the article:
This paper is offered to Mogens Hansen as a token of my esteem for his immense contributions to the study of Greek poleis in general and Athenian institutions in particular, and in gratitude for his exceptional generosity as a scholar and friend.
Students of the Athenian lawcourts are delighted by the copious detail (a “thick description,” in contemporary historians’ parlance) with which the Athenaion Politeia 63-66 explains how the Athenians assigned jurors and presiding magistrates to the dikasteria in the period shortly before that work was composed (ca. 330 BC) and perhaps for several decades before that. Yet these same scholars have also been perplexed by the complexity of the sortition process, finding it at the same time excessive and inadequate. I propose that the apparent paradox is best explained by understanding the rigmarole as ceremony aimed at alleviating the Athenians’ anxiety about the democratic jurors – their general quality, number, and probity. If I am right, we must dare to discount the rationale for the procedures explicitly stated by the Athenaion Politeia itself, viz. the erection of practical obstacles to corruption of the judicial process. Almost worse, we must dare to disagree with the honorand of this Festschrift in one point and steel ourselves for his (doubtless courteous) refutation.