Prime Ministers in Greece: The Paradox of Power

Hardcover | August 9, 2015

byKevin Featherstone, Dimitris Papadimitriou

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This book is concerned with a large question in one small, but highly problematic case: how can a prime minister establish control and coordination across his or her government?The Greek system of government sustains a 'paradox of power' at its very core. The Constitution provides the prime minister with extensive and often unchecked powers. Yet, the operational structures, processes and resources around the prime minister undermine their power to manage the government.Through a study of all main premierships between 1974 and 2009, Prime Ministers in Greece argues that the Greek prime minister has been 'an emperor without clothes'. The costs of this paradox included the inability to achieve key policy objectives under successive governments and a fragmentedsystem of governance that provided the backdrop to Greece's economic meltdown in 2010. Building on an unprecedented range of interviews and archival material, Featherstone and Papadimitriou set out to explore how this paradox has been sustained. They conclude with the Greek system meeting its 'nemesis': the arrival of the close supervision of its government by the 'Troika' - therepresentatives of Greece's creditors. The debt crisis challenged taboos and forced a self-reflection. It remains unclear, however, whether either the external strategy or the domestic response is likely to be sufficient to make the Greek system of governance 'fit for purpose'.

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This book is concerned with a large question in one small, but highly problematic case: how can a prime minister establish control and coordination across his or her government?The Greek system of government sustains a 'paradox of power' at its very core. The Constitution provides the prime minister with extensive and often unchecked p...

Kevin Featherstone is Eleftherios Venizelos Professor of Contemporary Greek Studies and Professor of European Politics, and Director of the Hellenic Observatory within the European Institute. He has held visiting positions at the University of Minnesota, New York University, and Harvard University. Before LSE, he held academic posts ...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pagesPublished:August 9, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198717172

ISBN - 13:9780198717171

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Table of Contents

1. Politicians, Patronage, and the Bureaucratic Tradition: the Problems of Control and Coordination Within the Greek Government2. The Leadership Factor: the Person and the Post3. Primus solus: Constantinos Karamanlis as PM (1974-1980)4. At the Centre of a Galaxy: Andreas Papandreou as Prime Minister (1981-1989 and 1993-1996)5. Institutionalisation and Micro-management: Constantinos Mitsotakis as Prime Minister (1990-1993)6. Innovation Circumscribed: Costas Simitis as Prime Minister (1996-2004)7. In the Shadows of Uncertainty: Costas Karamanlis as Prime Minister (2004-2009)8. 'Plus ca change': Change and Continuity in the Greek Core Executive9. Governing in Context: International Comparisons and Reform ImplicationsAppendix: List of Interviewees