Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos
Visiting Fellow, Summer 2019
Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos is professor of political science at the University of Athens (on leave 2018-2019). In September 2018-May 2019 he was Visiting Scholar at the Center for European Studies, Harvard University and Visiting Professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy teaching political science courses. Dimitri received his Ph.D. with distinction from Yale University in 1991. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics, St. Antony's College, Oxford and Sciences Po, Paris. He has published 6 books and edited or co-edited 7 volumes in English and Greek. He serves on the editorial board of the journals South European Society and Politics, Journal of Mediterranean Politics, South East European and Black Sea Studies, and The Hellenic Review of Political Science.
Among all South European countries, Greece underwent the most severe economic crisis in the 2010s which primarily is attributed to pre-crisis Greek governing policies in combination with economic asymmetries within the Eurozone. The onset of the crisis gave rise to dormant populist reactions and the strengthening of populist parties on the Left and the Right, the adoption of populism as political discourse by an otherwise radical left-wing party (Syriza), and its rise to power in 2015 on the wave of social reactions to austerity policies. Populism was also manifested in the adoption of mass media, education, public administration and justice system policies during Syriza’s government rule, in coalition with the nationalist right-wing Anel party, in 2015-2019. The spread of populism and its rise to power in Greece are explained through an analysis of legacies of democratic practice after the 1974 transition to democracy, traditions of political culture and the polarization of the party system, in addition to the gravity and long duration of the economic crisis which was a catalyst for the sea change in Greek politics in 2015-2019.