Greece today (taught in English)

Cycle / Level: 
Compulsory / Optional: 
Teaching Period: 
Course Content: 

This is a course, composed by a series of lectures by staff members, doctoral and post-doctoral students of the School of Political Sciences.

Its objective is to provide Erasmus and exchange students with an insight into – and the underlying causes of – the political, economic and social situation of Greece today.

The lectures aim to introduce students to the most important aspects of Greek politics and the Hellenic society, as well as to offer them relevant information on the history and evolution of Thessaloniki, the city they currently live.

This is an open-enrollment course, open to all Erasmus and exchange students in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; successful candidates receive four (4) ECTS credits.

Students should enroll by email to the course responsible, Assistant Professor Konstantinos Papastathis ( before the beginning of courses.

Students should add the course to their Learning Agreement (relevant information shall be provided to students by the Erasmus office of the University on the first lecture).

Thematic topics
A brief history of Greece
• The creation of the modern Greek State
• The gradual expansion of the country
• Between East and West – the Greek modernity

An introduction to the contemporary political history of Greece
• From the civil war to the dictatorship
• Post-1974 history

Politics in Greece after 1974
• Party and electoral system
• The cleavages in Greek politics
• The fragmentation of the political system as a consequence of the crisis

The political culture
• Modernism versus traditionalism
• A European or a Balkan state
• The role of Church

The Greek culture
• Modern Greek literature and theater
• The arts in Greece today

Greece and the European Union
• A historic perspective
• EMU and Greece
• The immigration/refugee crisis

Greece’s foreign relations
• Greece and its neighbors (Balkans, Turkey)
• The relations with Russia
• Greece and the United States The economy of Greece
• From an agricultural state to the services economy
• The “borrowed” prosperity of the 80s-90s
• The current economic crisis

An introduction to the history of Thessaloniki
• A multicultural city – a metropolis of the Balkans
• The role of the minorities (in particular the Jewish community)
• The changes after the W.W. II
• Re-inventing Thessaloniki in the 21st century


Learning Outcomes: 

Following the successful completion of the course, foreign students will be able to have a complete picture of the Greek political and economic situation and will be able to: better understand the context of the country they chose to study present in a coherent manner a subject related to contemporary greek reality to fellow students on their return home.


Literature (articles and books) are provided separately by each speaker. Exchange students are not entitled to books from Eudoxus. All literature for the course is to be found in the e-learning site of the course (

Το μάθημα προσφέρεται σε φοιτητές προγραμμάτων ανταλλαγής.