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The Curse of Sisyphus: Clientelism and the Greek State

Dr. Aris Trantidis

The Curse of Sisyphus: Clientelism and the Greek State

Dr Aris Trantidis, a Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Politics at the University of Lincoln, will be delivering an online-only seminar on 20 April 2023 at 7pm. The topic of the seminar is "The Curse of Sisyphus: Clientelism and the Greek State". The seminar will be hosted on Facebook and YouTube, offering audiences worldwide the opportunity to engage with Dr Trantidis and his insights into the challenges and crises facing modern Greece.

Dr Trantidis, a Greek immigrant in the United Kingdom, has extensive experience in researching and teaching key problems for democracy such as corruption, clientelism, autocratization, and crisis management. He has published in leading international journals and is the author of the book "Clientelism and Economic Policy: Greece and the Crisis". Dr Trantidis has an interdisciplinary background with degrees from several renowned institutions including King’s College London, the London School of Economics, and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

The seminar will focus on the challenges and crises facing modern Greece, with Dr Trantidis identifying clientelism as the main "culprit". This practice involves the allocation of selective benefits by political actors to their supporters and is embedded in Greece's party system. Dr Trantidis argues that clientelism is responsible for Greece's deficient state capacity and economic malaise, with the country's system of power occupied by clientelist network(s) with strong connections to the state.

Dr Trantidis also highlights that similar developments can happen in advanced economies and consolidated democracies, such as Australia, using game theory to explain why countries that follow the path of clientelism are unlikely to escape from the situation. Governments have avoided implementing reforms against this practice and have no incentive to create a functional Rule of Law system. The result has been a cycle of unavoidable austerity followed by periods of fiscal profligacy and costly corruption, like the Greek mythological figure Sisyphus.

The online seminar is an opportunity for those interested in understanding the challenges facing modern democracies to gain insights from Dr Trantidis's extensive research and experience.