Greek Foreign Policy in Defence of the National Interest: Teetering between Exceptionalism and Integration

ULUSLARARASI İLİŞKİLER, VOLUME 15, NUMBER 58, 2018

Dimitrios TRIANTAPHYLLOU*

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to explain how crisis-ridden Greece defines and defends its national interest. The constellation of the twin economic and migration crises coupled with the increasingly transactional nature of the global order have forced Greece’s hand in sticking to its guns with regard to its membership in both NATO and the European Union. While deterrence vis-à-vis Turkey remains a high priority, Greece has had to labour to regain its status and credibility within both aforementioned organizations by evolving away from its traditional policy of balancing between its membership obligations in NATO and the EU and its more nuanced approach to relations with Russia in contrast to many other countries. This has been done with the consensual adoption across the mainstream political spectrum of a policy of strategic realism which sees a distancing from the Euro-Atlantic context as an anathema, albeit the persistence of the reflex of exceptionalism and ethno-centrism. Its flank state status and the danger of further marginalization at a time of a changing Turkey have forced its hand while also presenting opportunities for the adoption of a renewed positive agenda with its neighbours.

Keywords: National Interest, Foreign Policy, Greece, Transactionalism, Crisis

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* Assoc. Prof. Dr., Department of International Relations, Kadir Has University, Istanbul.


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