The Socialist Era in Greece (1981-1989) or the Irrational in Power


  • Vrasidas Karalis The University of Sydney


This essay in historical interpretation explores a moment in recent European history when the political and the social converged in an atmosphere of heightened expectations as to what a political party and its charismatic leader could achieve in
the transformation of the societal structures of a nation-state. The case for study is Greece and the political change that occurred in 1981, when, for the first time since the establishment of the state (1829), a genuine transition in political government
took place, which was to test the function of democratic institutions, demonstrate their resistance and prove their viability. The 1981 change of government in Greece
presents a fine example of institutional resistance at a moment of historical crisis; simultaneously, it shows the role of leadership in the process of establishing demo - cratic institutions within the power structure of a European society.