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2012-13 Seminar Series

Crisis and Austerity: A Painful Watershed for the Greek Welfare State

Speaker :

Professor Maria Petmesidou
Professor of Social Policy, Democritus University of Thrace;


Chair : Professor Kevin Featherstone

Hellenic Observatory Director; Eleftherios Venizelos Professor of Contemporary Greek Studies & Professor of European Politics;

LSEE-Research on South Eastern Europe Co-Chair

Date :

Tuesday, 8 October 2013


 The talk explores the changes to social protection in Greece under the effect of an intractable sovereign debt crisis (largely due to accumulated deadlocks of a rent‐seeking,statist regime), which has engulfed the country since the late‐2000s.

It maps out and critically discusses major reforms in social insurance, health care and labour market policies with the aim to foreshadow the direction of impending change; and, particularly, to trace any indications of whether reform can bolster “inclusive solidarity” and improve redistribution or, instead, will bring about heightened insecurity.

Questions are also raised as to how far the policy laboratory of the “eurorescue” through the tenacious imposition of harsh austerity measures and the dismantling of worker and citizen protections, in the crisis‐ridden EU periphery, paves the way for a drastically changed agenda and politics of reform in Europe that prioritizes permanent retrenchment. This is a bleak scenario, though highly probable, as the European integration project seems to be crumbling, causing serious doubts about the future of the EuropeanSocial Model.


Petmesidou Image 

Professor Maria Petmesidou and Professor Kevin Featherstone (chair)

Petmesidou Image

Professor Maria Petmesidou presenting her research







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for the speaker's presentation