Two weeks ago I attended a lecture on “Economic Crisis and Social Unrest in Greece and Europe,” given by Prof. Stathis Kalyvas of Yale University. It was an excellent talk. It was refreshing to listen to such an accomplished academic speak on this complex topic. He offered mountains of data, cited numerous sociological studies completed very recently, and handled the audience’s (very broad) questions with ease.
The next day I thought about writing a post about it, but it never materialized. Luckily, the Athens Centre posted a video of his entire lecture, which I’ve linked to below. The talk begins with a general introduction to the topic before moving on to the Greek case (about 15 mins into video 1). The central question with which he is concerned is whether Greece is normative or exceptional and therefore whether the rioting and violence we see here will soon spread to other European (or Western) cities and countries. He thinks this is not the case–Greece is idiosyncratic in many ways–and his lecture explores why this is the case and some of the implications.
A brief bio of Prof. Kalyvas:
Stathis N. Kalyvas (Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1993), is Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence. He is the author of The Logic of Violence in Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and The Rise of Christian Democracy in Europe (Cornell University Press, 1996), and the co-editor of Order, Conflict & Violence (Cambridge University Press, 2008). He has received several awards, including the Woodrow Wilson Award for best book on government, politics, or international affairs (2007), the Luebbert Award for best book in comparative politics (2008), the European Academy of Sociology Book Award (2008), the J. David Greenstone Award for best book in politics and history (1997), and the Gregory Luebbert Award for best article in comparative politics (2001, 2009, and 2011). He is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the European University Institute, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the United States Peace Institute, and the Folke Bernadotte Academy; and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.