The Hellenic Observatory was established at the LSE in 1996, with the creation of the Eleftherios Venizelos Chair of Contemporary Greek Studies based on a generous endowment provided by a number of Greek donors, both public and private. It was the first such Chair in the social sciences to be created outside Greece and the endowment allows the Chair to be held on a permanent basis.
The Venizelos Chair is currently the Head of the European Institute at the LSE, where the Hellenic Observatory is also based. The role of both the Chair and the Director of the Observatory is to promote the multidisciplinary study of contemporary Greek politics, economy and society. Our coverage has developed to cover both Greece and Cyprus, and to relate these to both the rest of the European Union and to Southeast Europe. This focus is expressed across our research and public activities.
To this purpose, the Hellenic Observatory engages in a range of activities, including developing and supporting academic and policy-related research; organisation of conferences, seminars and workshops; academic exchange through visiting fellowships and internships; as well as teaching at the graduate level through LSE's European Institute. In these activities, the Hellenic Observatory normally seeks to collaborate with other partners, both institutional and individual, and academic and corporate.
Missions and Aims
The aims of the Hellenic Observatory are:
- To promote high-quality research and publications, within the social sciences, on Greece and/or Cyprus.
- To facilitate informed public debate on contemporary Greece and Cyprus, by serving as a lead and facilitator for the organisation of conferences, seminars and workshops.
- To foster cooperation between the relevant academic communities of Greece and the UK and beyond.
- To support and encourage a new generation of scholars with specialist knowledge and post-graduate training.
To achieve these aims, the Observatory performs a number of roles:
- Research unit: producing high-quality outputs in diverse outlets on an individual or group basis.
- Facilitator: of workshops, conferences etc. with a view to stimulating research.
- Networker: co-ordinating research projects with partners contributing additional expertise.
- Contractor: directed by its established research priorities, the Observatory initiates, commissions and oversees specific small policy projects by external collaborators.
HO Mission and Aims in Greek
The Hellenic Observatory is affiliated to two other units at the European Institute LSEE- Research on South-Eastern Europe and Contemporary Turkish Studies, while in 2011 it expanded its coverage to include Cyprus.
The Hellenic Observatory is governed by School policies and regulations and as a departmental research unit is part of the European Institute. It also benefits from the advice and support of its Advisory Board.
This comprises both academic and public figures, as well as representatives of the original donors. Its members are:
- Prof Yannis Stournaras, Governor, Bank of Greece (Chairman)
- Professor Kevin Featherstone, Head of the European Institute, LSE
- Dr Spyros Economides, Director, Hellenic Observatory, LSE
- Dr Vassili G. Apostolopoulos, CEO, Athens Medical Centre
- Mr Spyros N. Filaretos , Executive General Manager - COO Alpha Bank
- Mr Athanasios C Laskaridis, President & CEO, Laskaridis Shipping Company
- Dr Spiro J Latsis, Member, LSE Board of Governors
- Mr Costas Michaelides, Chairman, National Bank of Greece
- Professor Achilleas Mitsos, Professor of International Economic Relations, University of the Aegean, Greece
- Professor Elias Mossialos, Director, LSE Health
- Mr Evangelos G Mytilineos, Chairman, Mytilineos Holdings S.A.
- Professor Lucas Papademos, Former Prime Minister of Greece; Former Vice President - European Central Bank
- Professor Sir Christopher Pissarides, Regius Professor of Economics, LSE
- Mr Nikos Sofianos, President of the Hellenic Alumni Association of the London School of Economics and Political Science
- Professor Dimitri Vayanos, Professor of Finance, Department of Finance, LSE
Donors to the original endowment for the Eleftherios Venizelos chair (alphabetically)
- Agricultural Bank of Greece
- Alpha Credit Bank
- Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Bank of Greece
- Bodossaki Foundation
- Commercial Bank of Greece
- Delta Dairy S.A
- Euromerchant Bank
- Greek Ministry of Education
- Ionian and Popular Bank of Greece
- National Bank of Greece
- Piraeus Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- VIANEX S.A
In support of its various activities, the Hellenic Observatory has over the years benefited from the generosity and support of various non-governmental, private and public institutions, and private individuals.
These include (alphabetically):
Donors to the lectureship in the Political Economy of Greece and Southeast Europe
In 2004 the Hellenic Observatory established a 5-year Lectureship in the Political Economy of Greece and Southeast Europe. This was possible with generous support from a group of Greek companies with significant activities in the region.
These include (alphabetically):