Kalyvas, Stathis (2015), Modern Greece: What Everyone Needs to Know, Oxford University Press.
- Combines the most up-to-date economic and political-science findings on the current Greek crisis with a discussion of Greece’s history
- Greece’s economic and political future as a member of the European Monetary Union is very unpredictable at the moment, though the decision will have great repercussions for the rest of Europe and the world
- Makes original historical connections between Greece as a newly-independent country and Greece today
Just a few years ago, Greece appeared to be a politically secure nation with a healthy economy. Today, Greece can be found at the center of the economic maelstrom in Europe. Beginning in late 2008, the Greek economy entered a nosedive that would transform it into the European country with the most serious and intractable fiscal problems. Both the deficit and the unemployment rate skyrocketed. Quickly thereafter, Greece edged toward a pre-revolutionary condition, as massive anti-austerity protests punctuated by violence and vandalism spread throughout Greek cities. Greece was certainly not the only country hit hard by the recession, but nevertheless the entire world turned its focus toward it for a simple reason: the possibility of a Greek exit from the European Monetary Union, and its potential to unravel the entire Union, with other weaker members heading for the exits as well. The fate of Greece is inextricably tied up with the global politics surrounding austerity as well. Is austerity rough but necessary medicine, or is it an intellectually bankrupt approach to fiscal policy that causes ruin? Through it all, Greece has staggered from crisis to crisis, and the European central bank’s periodic attempts to prop up its economy fall short in the face of popular recalcitrance and negative economic growth.