Becoming Precarious in the age of neoliberal bio-politics


Athanasiou, Athena. Crisis as a “State of Exception”: Critiques and Resistances, Savalas pub., Athens, 2012. (In Greek)

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Kyriakopoulos, Leandros. “The condition of crisis and the symptoms of social change: Five flights of thought on the post of the (Greek) post-polity era”, The Unfamiliar- An anthropological Journal, vol. 2, pg. 19-26, Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh, 2012.

Mazower, Mark. “Introduction” in M. Mazower (ed.) After the War was Over: Restructuring the Family, Nation, and State in Greece, 1943- 1960. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2000, pg. 1-23.

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Taussig, Michael. The magic of the state. New York: Routledge, 1997.


[1]           In Greek, the name Metapolitefsi means the transition from one regime to another or from one way of being involved in politics to another. In the contemporary collective consciousness though, the name embeds the fall of junta in 1974 and the institution of parliamentary democracy. For British historian Mark Mazower (2000: 7), the name is connected with Greece’s “return to some semblance of tranquillity” after “Europe’s bloodiest conflict between 1945 and the breakup of Yugoslavia” among the Left and the Right that started even before the Second World War. The seven year junta, he observes, was the last bloody chapter of this civil conflict and, for that, Metapolitefsi embodies the promise of a new governmental state deprived of the terror of ideological persecutions and national disunity.  Thus, the term possess a manifold quality being obscured due to its historical weight: the political changeover of the year 1974 (what is widely accepted in the Greek public sphere), the transition of one regime to another (the etymology of the word itself) and the promise the preposition Meta-  (post) withholds, both as an effort to heal past wounds and a quest for a new future. The regime of Metapolitefsi that characterizes the last 30 years of Greece is indeed so grounded to this promise, that it is unattainable to fully understand the political transitions that happened within – such as Greece’s dedication to the European vision and the ideal of the socio-democratic welfare state – or the collective feeling of distress that have grown since 2009 due to the austerity measures taken as to deal with the so called debt crisis, without taking seriously the resurgent discourses about the ‘end of Metapolitefsi’ that characterize much of today’s political rhetoric (see Kyriakopoulos 2012).


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