Trends in Political Culture in Post World War II Greece: An Explanation of Greece's Current Crisis

Open Access
Author:
Smith, Kathleen
Area of Honors:
History
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Tobias Heinrich Albert Brinkmann, Thesis Supervisor
  • Catherine Wanner, Honors Advisor
  • Anthony Roeber, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • Greece
  • political culture
  • politics
Abstract:
This thesis seeks to examine the changes and development, or lack of change and development as the case may be, in Greece’s political culture since c. 1950 as a means of explaining and understanding the current political, economic and social crisis. A chronological analysis of major political events will be used to explore the political culture of Greece. Major political events will be limited to domestic events. Foreign policy and foreign influence and/or intervention will largely be ignored as political culture is defined here within a domestic setting. Overall Greece has a weak political culture despite opportunities to strengthen it. The current crisis is another such opportunity but it remains to be seen if the political culture will be strengthened as a result and thus bring about real change. Trust is the underlying problem of Greece’s political-culture. This relationship between citizen and political elite has been affected by decades of scandal and corruption. Further weakness in the system is also evident by the domination of “family dynasties” and nepotism, making real change a seemingly impossible task. The gap between rich and poor, with no substantial middle class, is another problem facilitating the lack of trust. I seek to address all of these factors as they contribute to the political culture of Greece. My thesis will primarily rely on newspaper articles from Greek, foreign, and American newspapers along with interviews performed by me. Secondary sources will be used to provide a general understanding of important events over the last sixty years.