Thinking Left Governmentality: The SYRIZA Experience 2015-2019

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Thinking Left Governmentality: The SYRIZA Experience 2015-2019

Left theory for the 21st century, VOLUME Ι



Editors: Costas Douzinas &  Michalis Bartsidis

Effie Achtsioglou, Aristides Baltas, Michalis Bartsidis, Peter Bratsis, Costas Douzinas, Elias Georgantas, Sam Gindin, Lois Labrianidis,  Maria Karamesini, Danaoi Koltsida, Petros Linardos-Rylmon,  Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Michalis Spourdalakis, Yeoryios Stamboulis, Christoforos Vernardakis, Euclid Tsakalotos.

Cover: Maratos Andreas, The sound of steps III, charcoal and pastels on paper, 2005


This volume is the first attempt by Greek and foreign intellectuals and politicians to place the Syriza experience in the context of contemporary theoretical debates. What was the state’sresponseto Syriza’s policies? What margin of manoeuvre existed in the negotiations with the lenders? What resistance and what help did the government encounter by social movements and civil society? What were the government’s priorities? More generally, what lessons can the Greek and European left learn from the Syriza experience? How did classical and more recent left theory help in this process? Was the party leadership prepared for the tasks ahead? This is a first report not a formal account from the front line of the Syriza government. A collection of the examined experiences of politicians and the reflection of academics on that crucial period in the history of Greece and the left. The authors use left theory to examine governance and left experience to correct left theory.Itgives a sense of the successes, failures and frustrations of people who were thrown at the deep end and learnt the trade of ruling while governing. Their experience is quite valuable for the Left. The 2015 compromise and the 2019 defeat that followed indicatethat unless there is a change in Europe, isolated left governments cannot survive with their program intact. We need a realignment of left, green and social-democratic forces against the rising threat of nationalism, xenophobia and extreme right-wing.


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