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Session Overview
RS07_03a_H: Greece's Prospects: Structures of Core-Periphery and the EU
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Athanasia Chalari, UNIVERSITY OF NORTHAMPTON
Location: HA.2.7
HAROKOPIO University 70 El. Venizelou Street 17671 Athens, Greece Building: A, Level: 2.

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Cores and Peripheries : How the management of the Eurozone crisis generated enduring structural dependencies and inequalities

Noëlle Manuela Burgi1, Philip Samuel Golub2, Eleni Kyramargiou3

1Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - University Paris I, France; 2American University of Paris; 3Institute of Historical Research/ National Hellenic Research Foundation

Applying structural theoretical frameworks to the way in which the EU (and particularily the Eurozone) managed the global financial crisis since 2010, we argue that a new durable configuration of dependency and subordination has emerged in a Europe newly divided between dominant cores and dependent peripheries. While dependency theory was widely used in the 1960s and 1970s to elucidate the historically constructed relations between the industrialized countries of the Euro-Atlantic « North » and « Southern » postcolonial societies and states, it proves a powerful tool to understand current divergent EU patterns. A close analysis of the structural adjustment policies implemented by transnational European institutions and the most powerful EU states (e.g. austerity regimes, privatization programs, forced restructurings of labour markets and laws and so forth) brings to light a methodical effort to establish and consolidate a new system of domination. The paper examines the case of Greece, focusing on the reconfiguration of the working class municipalities and the port of Piraeus, which was forcibly wholly privatized in August 2016. Once one of the vibrant industrial and urban working class areas of Greece, whose economic activities irrigated surrounding communities and the rest of the country, the port has become an enclave comparable to the Latin American industrial enclaves described in dependency theories. Piraeus can thus be understood as a microcosm of a broader process. The consequences include a loss of sovereignty and, crucially, the disposession of local communities.

E.U's fading lure

Angelos Kontogiannis-Mandros1, Corina Petridi2

1King's College London, U.K; 2University of Athens, Greece

Our aim in this paper is to examine the impact of the 2015 Greek referendum on attitudes towards the European project. In this broader context we pay special attention in the examination of people’s perception as to the relation between E.U. membership and Greek democracy’s robustness as well as the role played by the former in the unravelling of the Greek crisis. Something which brings us to public’s changing attitudes with regards to the role and importance of the national state vs that of supra-national unions such as the E.U. Such an analysis will provide the basis for a subsequent evaluation not only of the depth and character of the emerging Euroscepticism but also of its implications for the inability of the power bloc to articulate a hegemonic discourse able to resolve the legitimacy crisis that currently underlies the political system.

Methodologically speaking our analysis follows a mixed method approach that combines survey data and forty interviews with individuals from both sides of the yes/no divide. This enable us to illuminate better the differences that exist between the two groups (i.e. yes voters-no voters) while keeping track of the general development of these attitudinal trends with regards to the entire population.

Greece after the world economic crisis: is there a last chance for a take-off within/without the E.U.?

Emmanuel Alexakis

University of Crete, Greece

In Greece we are already experiencing the seventh year in crisis and unfortunately the signs are anything but good: no exit in sight yet, although much effort has been undertaken, more so by those who are less responsible for our predicament.

In this paper it will be argued, first, that as far as the Greek economy is concerned, the crisis did not come as a result of the respective worldwide one but it preexisted, being thoroughly concealed by the political system itself. Secondly, and maybe more so important, it is urgent to realize that the Greek problem is far less economic/financial and much more a problem of political culture, that refers to the wider issue of the lack of rules and standards that generally modulate social life and action. And, thirdly, I shall try to delineate, in a most tentative manner, a possible course Greece could follow in the post-crisis era. My thesis is based on the following: a) the course of today’s globalization affects each and every one; let us also not forget that its most profound characteristics are of a neoliberal origin, b) the narrower context, within which Greece is found, is that of the European Union and, more specifically, that of the Eurozone, c) nowadays global and neoliberal capitalism differs significantly compared to that existed in the pre-1989, bi-polar world, so policies adopted to cope with it, should be accordingly different, and d) return to a situation similar to the pre-2009 state of affairs should be out of the question, both because of the wider-objective conditions as well as due to Greece’s all-important need of structural change and modernization.

Foreign investors and Greece during the sovereign debt crisis: an economic sociology approach

Nikolaos Souliotis

National Center for Social Research-EKKE, Greece

The paper will examine a number of selected particular foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in Greece during the sovereign debt crisis (such as the privatization of the ex-airport of Hellinikon). The main research questions of the paper are:

- How the bailout agreements affected the institutional framework that regulates FDI in Greece?

- Which are the specific configurations of institutions and actors that shape the investment projects under research?

The paper will comprise two parts which correspond to the above-mentioned research questions. The first part will analyze the changing FDI-related institutional framework during the crisis as a process of “state rescaling”, that is as a process of reorganization of political authorities at the national and supranational levels. The second part will present an analysis of the actors who are involved in the selected investment projects. For this purpose the paper will use socio-professional data in a Multi-Correspondence Analysis.

Data used in the paper will come from official documents, the press and interviews with policy-makers.

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