In December 2019, the Greek Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority a long overdue law which allowed Greeks of the diaspora to vote from their place of residence. The fact that this change took place 44 years after the right was first introduced in the Greek Constitution, is not a mere chronological coincidence but we claim had to do with a number of combined conjunctural factors that led to a breakthrough reform in homeland-diaspora political relations. By tracing the party-political and societal discursive and mobilizational dynamics, our article looks at the micropolitics of this policy change and argues that the post-2009 Greek economic crisis with its rising levels of emigration and a changing political class acted as catalysts in the redefinition of homeland diaspora political engagement. The aim of this paper is threefold: first, to test some theoretical diasporic debates using Greece as a case study; second, to discuss the conditions behind an important political change in the context of Greece’s interaction with its diaspora; and third, to offer our empirical work as potential inspiration for other comparable cases.
Critical juncture, Diaspora, Diasporic vote, Emigration, Greek crisis.