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Greece and the myth of modernisation

‘Greece has a central position in the European imagination,’ Georges Prévélakis writes. The country and its history are central to ideas about Europe’s identity. But is it properly understood?

Prévélakis’ article presents some historical background to Greece’s economic collapse around 2010. Greece is a good example of how modernity in Europe doesn’t proceed in one particular way: its political system may be a representative democracy like there are so many in Europe, the dynamics that underlie the Greek state are rather different than those in other, Western, countries. We would therefore propose to speak of ‘the myth of modernisation’.

We encourage you to read Prévélakis’ article in full. He also touches upon modernity and identity - symbolised in Athens’ aesthetics, which emphasise its ancient roots and obscure Byzantine and Ottoman influences - and describes how modernity is a co-construction between, in this case, Greek and European actors.

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This article is from the free online course:

European Culture and Politics

University of Groningen

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