Chapter in the collective volume:
Greece, Economic, Political and Social Issues
P. Liargovas, ed. New York: Nova Publishers 2012
This chapter deals with the politics of economic stabilization and reform in Greece and addresses questions already raised in the literature. The focus is specifically on the changes in economic and social policies characterized by a transition from statist designs to ambivalent liberal reforms. Thereby, we do not address one policy field alone but look at a number of core issues or policies that include fiscal discipline, product and labor market reforms, privatization, pensions and environment. The analysis, covering the entire time span from 1974 on to the present, is a tale of an ultimately failed liberal adjustment. To explain it we apply mainly soft public choice approaches about interest-based behavior; (institutionalist) references to path–dependent political norms and practices and formal rules of the game; and, inevitably, ideas, while allowing for the impact of multilateral arrangements and crisis as external inducements to reform. The course of things and the exemplifications we provide invite to a reexamination of the ultimate balance between institutionalized coordination mechanisms of the EU and domestic forces.
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