Synopses & Reviews
Just a few years ago, Greece appeared to be a politically secure nation with a healthy economy. Today, Greece can be found at the center of the economic maelstrom in Europe. Beginning in late 2008, the Greek economy entered a nosedive that would transform it into the European country with the most serious and intractable fiscal problems. Both the deficit and the unemployment rate skyrocketed. Quickly thereafter, Greece edged toward a pre-revolutionary condition, as massive anti-austerity protests punctuated by violence and vandalism spread throughout Greek cities. Greece was certainly not the only country hit hard by the recession, but nevertheless the entire world turned its focus toward it for a simple reason: the possibility of a Greek exit from the European Monetary Union, and its potential to unravel the entire Union, with other weaker members heading for the exits as well. The fate of Greece is inextricably tied up with the global politics surrounding austerity as well. Is austerity rough but necessary medicine, or is it an intellectually bankrupt approach to fiscal policy that causes ruin? Through it all, Greece has staggered from crisis to crisis, and the European central bank's periodic attempts to prop up its economy fall short in the face of popular recalcitrance and negative economic growth.
Though the catalysts for Greece's current economic crises can be found in the conditions and events of the past few years, one can only understand the factors that helped to transform these crises into a terrible political and social catastrophe by tracing Greece's development as an independent country over the past two centuries. In Greece: What Everyone Needs to Know, Stathis Kalyvas, an eminent scholar of conflict, Europe, and Greece, begins by elucidating the crisis's impact on contemporary Greek society. He then shifts his focus to modern Greek history, tracing the nation's development from the early nineteenth century to the present. Key episodes include the independence movement of the early nineteenth century, the aftermath of World War I (in which Turkey and Greece engaged in a massive mutual ethnic cleansing), the German occupation of World War II, the brutal civil war that followed, the postwar conflict with Turkey over Cyprus, the military coup of 1967, and-finally-democracy and entry into the European Union. The final part of the book will cover the recent crisis in detail. Written by one of the most brilliant political scientists in the academy, Greece is the go-to resource for understanding both the present turmoil and the deeper past that has brought the country to where it is now.
When Greece's economic troubles began to threaten the stability of the European Union in 2010, the nation found itself in the center of a whirlwind of international finger-pointing. In the years prior, Greece appeared to be politically secure and economically healthy. Upon its emergence in the center of the European economic maelstrom, however, observers and critics cited a century of economic hurdles, dictatorships, revolutions, and more reasons as to why their current crisis was understandable, if not predictable. The ancient birthplace of democracy and countless artistic, literary, philosophical, and scientific developments had struggled to catch-up to its economically-thriving neighbors in Western Europe for years and quickly became the most seriously economically-troubled European country following a fiscal nosedive beginning in 2008. When the deficit and unemployment skyrocketed, the resulting austerity measures triggered widespread social unrest.
The entire world turned its focus toward the troubled nation, waiting for the possibility of a Greek exit from the European Monetary Union and its potential to unravel the entire Union, with other weaker members heading for the exit as well. The effects of Greece's crisis are also tied up in the global arguments about austerity, with many viewing it as necessary medicine, and still others seeing austerity as an intellectually bankrupt approach to fiscal policy that only further damages weak economies.
In Modern Greece: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Stathis Kalyvas, an eminent scholar of conflict, Europe, and Greece combines the most up-to-date economic and political-science findings on the current Greek crisis with a discussion of Greece's history. Tracing the nation's development from the early nineteenth century to the present, the informative question-and answer format covers key episodes including the independence movement of the early nineteenth century, the massive ethnic cleansing in Turkey and Greece following World War I, the German occupation in World War II, the following brutal civil war, the conflict with Turkey over Cyprus, the military coup of 1967, democracy at long last, and the country's entry into the European Union.
Written by one of the most brilliant political scientists in the academy, Modern Greece is the go-to resource for understanding both the current crisis and the historical events that brought the country to where it is today.
What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.
About the Author
Stathis N. Kalyvas
is Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence at Yale University. He is the author of The Logic of Violence in Civil War and The Rise of Christian Democracy in Europe
, and the co-editor of Order, Conflict and Violence
. He has received several awards, including the Woodrow Wilson Award for best book on government, politics, or international affairs, the Luebbert Award for best book in comparative politics, the European Academy of Sociology Book Award, the J. David Greenstone Award for best book in politics and history, and the Gregory Luebbert Award for best article in comparative politics.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Modern Greece as a project
Did Modern Greece spring from Ancient Greece?
How did the Greek National movement begin?
What were the social sources of Greek Nationalism?
Who were the Nationalists?
How did Greece secede from the Ottoman Empire? Who rebelled?
How did a Greek state emerge out of the war?
How did international politics impact the war?
What was the European reaction to the Modern Greek project?
How was the new state built?
Why was nation-building successful?
What was the state of the economy in 19th century Greece?
How did democracy come to Greece?
How did the new democratic institutions operate?
How did Greece become a national of small land-holders?
Chapter Two: State Consolidation and National Expansion
What was the fate of Trikoupis' modernization project?
What was the Great Idea?
Who were the unredeemed Greeks?
What were the consequences of irredentist foreign policy?
What was the Macedonian Conflict?
How did Greece double its territory?
What was the National Schism?
What was the Anatolian Disaster?
What was the impact of the Anatolian Disaster?
How did the military become politicized?
How popular was communism in Greece?
Chapter Three: War, Occupation, and Civil War
What were the causes of the Greek Civil War?
How did the occupation morph into civil war?
What explains the rise of the communists?
Why did KKE's competitors in the resistance fail?
What drove collaboration in Greece?
How was the postwar fate of Greece sealed?
How did Greece become the frontline of the Cold War?
Why did the winners win and the losers lose?
What is the legacy of the Civil War?
Chapter Four: The Greek Miracle and Its Aftermath
How did Greece take off?
What Greece a democracy?
What caused the April 1967 coup?
Why was the transition to democracy so smooth?
What was Greek Socialism and what explains its success?
What was the impact of EU membership?
Is Greek politics clientelistic?
Why are Greeks and Turks fighting?
Chapter Four: The 2010 Crisis
Was the adoption of the Euro a good idea for Greece?
How did Greece end up with an explosive debt?
What has been the effect of the austerity program and the IMF/ECB/EU bailout?
What are the broader lessons of the Greek story?
What does the future hold for Greece?