Abstracts for Greek Political Science Review 28 (2006)

Y. Voulgaris
State and Civil Society in Greece Reconsidered

This article argues that the “overgrown and inefficient state – weak civil society” stereotype, overwhelmingly prevailing in Greek political sociology has to be modified. Neither was or is civil society so weak nor was or is the State so inefficient as the stereotype suggests. The article starts with a review of the origins of the stereotype in the post-dictatorship period, as well as the theoretical and political context in which it was formed. It then outlines the way in which “state” and “civil society” as concepts are discussed by contemporary social science. The author distances himself from the current theoretical and analytical uses of the concept of “civil society” and proposes an alternative based on a Gramscian perspective. Furthermore, the article reviews recent findings of historical sociology (especially those situated within a state-society perspective) regarding the role of the state in socioeconomic development. The article concludes that the prevailing interpretation of the relation between state and civil society in modern Greece has to be reconsidered.

C. A. Frangonikolopoulos
NGOs and Global Governance

The place and function of NGOs in international relations is ambiguous. It remains difficult and delicate, despite the fact that they play a salient and indispensable role. This is due to the prevailing idea that global politics is a practice associated solely with states. Foreign policy, however, once the exclusive prerogative of the nation-state, is violated daily by developments in non-state actions arising from transnational political, economic, social, and ecological issues. The participation of NGOs in international relations politics restructures the way global governance is organized and especially in respect to who has the right to participate in it.

C. Konstadinidou
Political Identity in the Era of Globalization. The Anti-Globalization Movement in Athenian Daily Newspapers

This essay offers an analysis of the construction of what has been called the “new political identity in the era of globalization” within the Athenian newspaper discourse. For this purpose, a semiotic analysis of news reporting was conducted, concerning the public demonstrations of the “anti-globalization” movement between 1999 and 2001, known as “The Days of Global Action Against Capitalism”. Using a range of theoretical tools (the social construction of reality through language theory, the new social movement theory, and the identity politics theory), the paper attempts to explore and clarify the narrative structures of the news reporting discourse, which, through its signifying practices, contribute to the production of the notion of “new political identity in the era of globalization”.

E. Fakiolas, N. Tzifakis
EU Peacekeeping Missions in the Western Balkans: A Will-Implementation Gap

To date, the EU has made significant steps towards devising a common European Security and Defense Policy. This article seeks to shed light on the military aspect of this endeavour. The central question that it raises and tries to answer is whether the proclaimed will of the EU to provide the Western Balkans with security by military means is attained. From this angle, the analysis of EU military peace missions in Bosnia and the FYROM shows what we call a “will-implementation gap”. The latter denotes the mismatch that exists between the EU’s political will to take the lead in enforcing or keeping peace and the operational way its military missions are carried out in the field. This gap, we assert, could be theoretically explained by the dialectic of intergovernmentalism and supranationalism that has determined the dynamics of European integration since its launch. Also, we suggest that the “will-implementation gap” should constitute the basis of an alternative conceptual approach to investigating the role of the EU as a “security provider”. In addition to this key finding, the analysis of EU military peace missions indicates the progressive evolution of the European Security and Defense Policy.

Published 9 June 2007
Original in Greek

Contributed by Greek Political Science Review © Greek Political Science Review Eurozine

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