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Hellenic Statecraft and the Geopolitics of Difference




ISBN 9781138497467
Published May 31, 2021 by Routledge
326 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations

 
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Book Description

This book explores competing definitions of Hellenism in the making of the Greek state by drawing on critical historical and geopolitical perspectives and their intersection with difference and exclusion. 

It examines Greece’s central role in shaping the state system, regional security, and nationalisms of the Balkans, the Black Sea, and the Eastern Mediterranean regions. Understanding the Greek State's social constitution helps learn about the past and present intentions and strategies as well as local, national, and European notions of security and identity. The book looks at the relation of subaltern communities to state power and the state’s ability and willingness to negotiate difference. It also explores how the State’s identity politics shaped regional geopolitics in the past two centuries. Chapters present case studies that shed light on the Hellenization of Jewish Thessaloniki, the Treaty of Lausanne’s making of Western Thrace’s Muslim minority, the role and modes of settlement, urbanization, and ‘bordering-as-statecraft’ in Eastern Macedonia and Western Thrace, and the politics of erecting the Athens Mosque, the first officially-licensed mosque outside Western Thrace since Greek Independence.

With examples from fieldwork in Greek cities and borderlands, this book offers a wealth of primary research from geographers and historians on the modern history of Greek statehood. It will be of key interest to scholars of political geography, international relations, and European history.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Hellenic Statecraft and the Geopolitics of Difference  1.Hellenic Statecraft in Power Politics: The Limitations of Hard Power and the Promise of Collective Action  2. Historiography as Geopolitics of Statecraft. The Byzantine Turn and the Crafting of a Modern Hellenic Identity  3. Race, Identity, Territory. Contesting the Ethnological Profile of the Balkans  4. The Hellenization of Salonica. From Jewish Metropolis to Greece’s "Co-Capital" (1912-1932)  5. Western Thrace’s Minority Question. Redefining Difference Post-"Lausanne"  6. Pomaks, "Our Forgotten Siblings." From Suspect Aliens to Fulcrum of Statecraft  7. The Hellenization of Borderlands I: Settlement and Urbanization as Statecraft – 1919-1941  8. The Hellenization of Borderlands II: The Greek-Bulgarian Border, Mount Sapka, and the City of Didymoteicho  9. Contesting the Building of the Athens Mosque. Worship and Placemaking in the Margins

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Author(s)

Biography

Alex G. Papadopoulos is professor of urban and political geography at DePaul University. He studies the contestation of urban space in Europe and the United States. His urban work includes studies on Brussels, Saint Petersburg, Istanbul, and Chicago, and the political geographic research entangles ‘the urban’ in works on SE European geopolitics.

Triantafyllos G. Petridis, Director at the 3rd Secondary School in Athens, Greece, is an educator and independent researcher with degrees in history, archaeology, and political science. He has worked extensively on minority education in Greece, the critical teaching of history, and inter-communal reconciliation based on new pedagogies and curricula.

Reviews

Drawing on a rich array of case studies, Papadopoulos and Petridis offer a remarkable portrait of the evolving political priorities of the modern Greek state, as well as the country’s wider regional geopolitical role. They effectively show how Greece’s political dispositions and geopolitical stratagems have shaped, and are shaped by historical-geographic imaginaries, urban dynamics, and dominant approaches to questions of difference. In so doing, Hellenic Statecraft offers insight not just into how to understand an individual case, but in how to approach studies of politics, geopolitics, and statecraft more generally. Alexander B. Murphy, Emeritus Professor of Geography, University of Oregon, USA

How did Hellenic heritage imaginings of territory construct the ideological underpinnings of Greece's practices of statecraft and nation-building? How and to what ends were historiography and geography marshalled to support the formation and expansion of the modern Greek territorial state? Importantly, how did the politics of difference determined the course of Greece's domestic and regional geopolitics? Drawing on urban fieldwork and a wealth of primary source material, Papadopoulos and Petridis address these critical questions in detailed case studies. This authoritative study is a must-read for scholars of European history, geography, and urbanism. Theodore G. Zervas, Professor, North Park University, USA

Papadopoulos and Petridis have written a thorough and detailed account of the birth and evolution of the modern Greek state and its territorialization. Most authors focus on competing intellectual discourses and political intrigue, but nation-state building processes are infinitely more complex. Papadopoulos and Petridis identify important but often underappreciated, even overlooked, threads. They eloquently reveal how Romantic notions of Hellenic purity and continuity have interacted and interwoven with Enlightenment ideas of citizenship, Great Power geopolitics, and now European Union supra-nationalism to make the Greece that appears on today’s world map. Most interesting, Papadopoulos and Petridis illustrate how governments employ settlement and city design, especially in borderlands, to create and shape modern national identity. Their work is a model for the study of statecraft and nation-building within the broader context of geopolitics. George W. White, Professor, South Dakota State University, USA

The study by Alex G. Papadopoulos and Triantafyllos G. Petridis can be understood as contributing to a general theoretical scheme, focusing on the polysemic characteristics of the concept of Hellenism during and following the Greek Revolution – a concept that during the construction of the Neohellenic State evolved into a "Hellenization" exclusively oriented towards the West. In their own study, the authors instrumentalize a geopolitics at the local level, thus escaping a stereotypical approach that would only have accentuated the nationalist character of the homogenization of the state. At the same time, the analysis of geopolitical conditions is deployed and incorporates the national territory and the Eastern Mediterranean region; their research is, therefore, remarkable as regards the methodological aspect but it is also very useful for the reader who wants to understand the current Greek reality. [translation] Catherine Brégianni, Research Director, Modern Greek History Research Center/Academy of Athens

L’étude de Alex G. Papadopoulos et de Triantafyllos G. Petridis peut s’intégrer à un schéma théorique général, se focalisant sur les caractéristiques polysémiques de la notion d’hellénisme lors de la Révolution grecque, notion qui s’est transformée en une «hellénisation» exclusivement orientée vers l'occident lors de la construction de l'État Néohellénique. Dans leur propre étude, les auteurs instrumentalisent une géopolitique au niveau local, échappant ainsi à une approche stéréotypée qui aurait accentué uniquement le caractère nationaliste de l’homogénéisation de l’Etat. En parallèle, l’analyse des conditions géopolitiques se déploie et incorpore le territoire national et la région de la Méditerranée de l’Est; leur recherche est donc remarquable en ce qui concerne l’aspect méthodologique mais elle est aussi très utile pour le lecteur qui veut comprendre la réalité grecque actuelle. [orignal] Catherine Brégianni, Research Director, Modern Greek History Research Center/Academy of Athens