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GREECE: POLITICAL ECONOMY, CRISIS AND CHANGE

INSTRUCTOR: Dimitris Katsikas, Lecturer, University of Athens

The course aims at providing students with an understanding of contemporary Greece. The focus of the course is on the development and change of Greece’s political economy from its transition to democracy in the 1970s, to the 2010 crisis, which still dominates all aspects of economic, social and political life until today.

The first lectures will be dedicated to establishing a historical and theoretical background to the course. More specifically, a brief overview of Greece’s economic and political history will be provided, with an emphasis on Greece’s economic performance, including its recurrent public debt problems, and an overview of the characteristics of its capitalist model. This will be done through the lens of the Varieties of Capitalism theory, which groups and analyses countries according to their variety of capitalist organization and development.

This essentially historical institutionalist approach, along with other aspects of the more traditional historical institutionalism literature, will form the theoretical framework through which the evolution of Greece’s political economy from the restoration of democracy in 1974 to the run-up to the crisis will be analysed.

The last part of the course will be devoted to the analysis of the various aspects of the economic crisis that broke out in 2010 and its handling by the Greek authorities’, but also by the country’s creditors, including the European authorities and the IMF. The course will conclude with the presentation and discussion of the crisis’ consequences in the economic, political and social domains.

The course will be examined with a final written examination and a paper to be delivered at the end of the term. The last two sessions will be devoted to the presentation of preliminary versions of the papers by the students.