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The Curse of Sisyphus: Clientelism and the Greek State

with Dr Aris Trantidis

  • When:
  • Where: Online (YouTubeFacebook)
  • Entry: Free

Event Details

With its deep economic crisis and dramatic political developments Greece has puzzled the world. What explains its long-standing problems? Dr Trantidis has extensively studied the challenges and crises facing modern Greece. His research has identified the main 'culprit': clientelism, namely the allocation of selective benefits by political actors (patrons) to their supporters (clients). Clientelism is widespread and embedded in Greece's party system. It is responsible for Greece's deficient state capacity and economic malaise. Greece's system of power has been occupied by clientelist network(s) with strong and deep connections with the state, whose removal is extremely difficult if not impossible. Governments avoided implementing reforms against this practice and had no incentive to create a functional Rule of Law system. As a result,, periods of unavoidable austerity have been succeeded by periods of fiscal profligacy and costly corruption. Like Sisyphus, Greece falls down to crisis again and again after a small period of relative growth and consolidation. But the Greek case is not unique. Using game theory, Dr Trantidis explains why similar developments can happen in advanced economies and consolidated democracies, like Australia, and argues that countries that follow that path are unlikely to escape from this situation.

About Dr Aris Trantidis

Dr Aris Trantidis is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Politics at the University of Lincoln. A Greek immigrant in the United Kingdom, he previously held research and teaching positions at King’s College London, the European University Institute (EUI) in Italy and George Mason University in the United States. Dr Trantidis has worked on key problems for democracy, such as corruption, clientelism, autocratization and crisis management, and has published in leading international journals such as Politics, the Journal of European Public Policy, the British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Polity, Review of Behavioral Economics, South European Society and Politics, Constitutional Political Economy and Democratization among others. He is also the author of the book Clientelism and Economic Policy: Greece and the Crisis (Routledge, 2016). Dr Trantidis has an interdisciplinary background with studies in law, politics and political economy and degrees from King’s College London, the London School of Economics, the University of Surrey, the University of Athens and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He is currently working on a research agenda on democracy and climate change.


We thank Kostas Stefanidis for the kind donation that makes seminars like this possible.

During the course of the year considerable expenses are incurred in staging the seminars. In order to mitigate these costs individuals or organisations are invited to donate against a lecture of their choice.

You too can donate for one or more seminars and (optionally) let your name or brand be known as a patron of culture to our members, visitors and followers, as well as the broader artistic and cultural community of Melbourne. Please email: or call 03 9662 2722.

We thank the following corporate sponsors:

Delphi Accounting, Symposiarch Wines and the Kastellorizian Association of Victoria Inc.

About Greek History and Culture Seminars 2023

This event belongs to the series, Greek History and Culture Seminars 2023.

The Greek Community of Melbourne hosts a wide range of events, from intimate gatherings to large functions, and celebrates cultural diversity with vibrant festivals, performances, and exhibitions.

SERIES DATES: Thursday, 02/03/2023 – Thursday, 05/10/2023

See all Greek History and Culture Seminars 2023 published events.

  • LANGUAGE English
  • CATEGORY Education
  • EVENT SERIES Seminars > Greek History and Culture Seminars 2023
  • SERIES DATES Thursday, 02/03/2023 – Thursday, 05/10/2023
  • PRESENTED BY The Greek Community of Melbourne
  • FEATURING Dr Aris Trantidis
  • M.C. Nick Dallas
  • MAJOR DONORS Delphi Accounting, Symposiarch Wines and the Kastellorizian Association of Victoria Inc
  • MINOR DONORS Kostas Stefanidis
  • PLACE Online (YouTubeFacebook)