Greece's strategy vis-à-vis Turkey: from 'hard' to 'smart balancing'?

Hosted by the Hellenic Observatory

Sumeet Valrani Lecture Theatre, 1st floor, Centre Building, LSE Campus, United Kingdom


Professor Panayotis Tsakonas

Professor Panayotis Tsakonas


Professor Kevin Featherstone

Professor Kevin Featherstone

What is the most efficient strategy a state should employ for restraining a threatening neighbor? How successful has Greece been in dealing with what was considered to be its major security threat, namely Turkey, over the course of almost half a century?

The seminar offered a comprehensive account of what defines the strategy of ‘smart balancing’ Greece should devise vis-à-vis Turkey as well as an explanation of how subtler forms of balance of power politics could help Greece achieve its goals vis-à-vis its revisionist neighbor without merely employing ‘familiar’ strategies such as vigorous military alliances or arms build ups.

Meet our speaker and chair 

Panayotis Tsakonas is Professor of International Relations, Security Studies and Foreign Policy Analysis at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA). He is also Director of the MA Program in “International and European Governance and Policy”, Director of the “Institute of Migration and Diaspora Studies” and Head of the “Programme on Foreign Policy and Security” at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP). He has held research posts in various academic institutions, including Harvard (1998-99), Yale (2003), and Oxford University (2015). His research and published work (books, monographs, contributions in edited volumes and articles in peer-reviewed academic journals) have been published in Greek, English, German, French and Italian. He also served as Scientific Advisor at the Ministry of National Defense (1996-1998), as Special Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (1999-2003) and as President of the BoD of the Center for Security Studies/KE.ME.A (2016-2019). He has co-authored, with Dr. Thanos Dokos (Greece’s current National Security Advisor) two books on National Security Strategy. His book: The Incomplete Breakthrough in Greek-Turkish Relations. Grasping Greece’s Socialization Strategy (Palgrave-Macmillan, New York, 2010) was nominated by the Modern Greek Studies Association for the “Edmund Keeley Book Prize”.

Kevin Featherstone is Eleftherios Venizelos Professor in Contemporary Greek Studies, Professor in European Politics and Director of the Hellenic Observatory.

The twitter hashtag for this event is #LSEGreece


A copy of Professor Tsakonas' presentation is available for download here.


Listen to the podcast here.

The Hellenic Observatory (@HO_LSE)  is internationally recognised as one of the premier research centres on contemporary Greece and Cyprus. It 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.

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