The Greek parliamentarianism between ‛regularity’ and aberration with Nikos Alivizatos, Events Series 2017


Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 7:00pm


Municipal Auditorium of the Vouleftiko, 21 100, Nafplio, Greece

Full title:

Divisive democracy: The Greek parliamentarianism between ‛regularity’ and aberration, 1843-2016


Nikos Alivizatos, Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law, Law School, University of Athens, and Nikos Papaspyrou, Lecturer in Public Law, Law School, University of Athens, as respondent



Synopsis of the lecture:

Including the years of Occupation (1941-44), the dictatorial aberrations in the history of modern Greece do not exceed a total of 17 years, a comparatively low figure for a newly-founded nation state in Europe. However, the 156 years since the election of the National Assembly of September 3, 1843, can by no means be characterized as “normal.” Greek parliamentarianism has been majoritarian and acutely confrontational, based on the British two-party model, and consequently, almost always divisive. This may have strengthened its legitimacy for the Greek people, but it nonetheless induced the characteristic instability of the country’s economy, frustrating every now and then expectations of Greece becoming, at last, a “normal” country.

Short bio of the lecturer & the respondent:

Nikos C. Alivizatos is Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Athens. He was born in Athens in 1949, with origins from Kefalonia and Chios. After studying law in Athens (1972), Professor Alivizatos obtained his Ph.D. from the University Paris II in 1977 under the supervision of Professor Georges Vedel. His books include The Political Institutions in Crisis: Aspects of the Greek Experience (in Greek; Themelio, 1983), State and Broadcasting: The Institutional Dimension (in Greek; Ant. Sakkoulas, 1986), The uncertain modernization (in Greek; Polis, 2001), Beyond Article 16: Before and After (in Greek; Metaichmio, 2007), The Constitution and its Enemies, 1800-2010 (in Greek; Polis, 2011), What Kind of Democracy After the Crisis (in Greek; Polis, 2013), Pragmatists, Demagogues and Dreamers: Politicians, Intellectuals and the Challenge of Power (in Greek; Polis, 2015). Since 1978, he has been pleading regularly before the Greek Council of State and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Nikos I. Papaspyrou is a lecturer in Public Law at the Law School of Athens. A graduate of Athens University Law School, he received his postgraduate degrees from Oxford and Harvard and was awarded the Doctor of Juridical Science degree at the Law School of Harvard University in 2000, where he was also a graduate fellow at the Center for Ethics and the Professions. He served as Special Secretary of the Hellenic Parliament from October 2009 to October 2016.