Talk: "Why Greece failed, and what are the lessons learned?"

As part of our departmental seminar series, Professor Takis S. Pappas will give a talk on

Why Greece failed, and what are the lessons learned?

(November 25, 6 pm, GFG 01-701)

As always, all staff and students are cordially invited.

Greece has been in a deep economic, political and social crisis at least 2009, and the hopes for its recovery and return to normalcy are at the moment rather dim. Two interrelated questions become urgent: What went wrong in Greece, when things for many decades had seemed to be going right? And how did contemporary Greek democracy become possible and manage to sustain itself for almost three decades? The first question calls for an explanation of the logic that led Greece to abandon a liberal political arrangement for another that eventually led to disaster; the second question requires an examination of the particular mechanisms that enabled the country’s overall political arrangement to work for nearly three decades. It will be shown that Greece’s failure is the outcome of a long process during which populism prevailed over liberalism and became hegemonic in society. Analysis will be based on a novel understanding of populism as democratic illiberalism, which, not only is inimical to liberal democracy, but may also contaminate a country’s entire party and political system through the various micro-mechanisms it helps develop. Above all, persisting populism is a huge obstacle to Greece’s current efforts to overcome crisis.

Takis PappasTakis S. Pappas is the author of Populism and Crisis Politics in Greece (Palgrave Macmillan 2014) and co-editor of European Populism in the Shadow of the Great Recession (ECPR Press 2015). He is currently working on a new book project titled “Democratic Illiberalism: How Populism Grows”