Conference - June 22-23, 2018

Homeland-Diaspora Relations in Flux

Greece and Greeks abroad at times of Crisis

St Antony's College, University of Oxford.

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Presenting paper

Political elites and diaspora party politics during the crisis years

Historically, the Greek homeland perceived and approached Greek diasporas as sources of philanthropic funding, economic remittances and lobbying on matters of Greek national foreign policy interest. Since the late 1970s, the Greek state, for its part, has attempted to formalise this interaction through the creation of concrete institutions with varying degrees of success. The Greek crisis and the recent wave of migration has added new meanings and dimensions to the Greek homeland-Greek diasporas nexus. We consider this period as a significant moment in the redefinition of the Greek diaspora’s role from the Greek state perspective for three reasons: first, there is new significant wave of migration, added to the already existing Greek migrants abroad, whose identity and functionality is different from the previous waves (new identity); second, the depth of the economic crisis has added new dimensions in the potential contribution of the Greek diaspora from a homeland perspective (new issues); third, the global context of state-diasporas engagement has been changing in terms of connectivity and communication beyond the strictly speaking state policies (new instruments). Our paper, seeks to look at the Greek homeland diaspora nexus, since the beginning of the Greek crisis in 2009, from an institutional, policy making and discourse (rhetorical/ideological) perspectives. In order to achieve the aforementioned goal, we focused on the position of political elites between 2009-2017, by scrutinising debates in the Greek parliament and conducting semi-structured interviews.

Author bio

Othon Anastasakis is the Director of South East European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX), based at St Antony's College; a Senior Research Fellow at St Antony's College and Associate at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford; and the former Director of the European Studies Centre, also based at St Antony's (July 2012-October 2015). He teaches South East European politics. Previously he was Researcher at the London School of Economics; Expert & Advisor on European Union matters at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He received his BA in Economics from the University of Athens, his MA in Comparative Politics and International Relations from Columbia University, New York and his PhD in Comparative Government from the London School of Economics.
Foteini Kalantzi is the A.G. Leventis Research Officer at the Greek Diaspora Project in SEESOX. She received her PhD in International Relations from University of Macedonia and carried out part of her research in Freie Universitaet Berlin. Her thesis ‘Securitisation of migration in Greece’ examined how discourse and political practices contributed to the socio-political construction of migration as a security threat between 2000-2014. She holds an MA in International Political Economy from University of Warwick, UK, a BA in International and European Relations from Panteion University, Athens and a BSc in Economics from University of La Verne, California. She has teaching experience in International and European Relations, Economics and Ethics in social media at the Department of International Relations of Université de Strasbourg at City Unity College in Athens. Her research interests include migration, political and media discourse analysis, Greek political affairs and European integration. She has research experience and keen interest on cultural diplomacy and ‘Soft Power’.
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