Greece: Towards ‘Europeanisation’?

Traianou, Anna. 2019. Greece: Towards ‘Europeanisation’? In: Anna Traianou and Ken Jones, eds. Austerity and The Remaking of European Education. London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781350028487 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Like many other European countries, Greece has a long tradition of ‘borrowing’ institutional structures, curricular policies and pedagogical ideologies. However, recent globalising trends have increased the pressure on the Greek governments to reform the education system in the light of what is going on in other countries. With the full entry of Greece into the European Union (in 1981), along with a gradual shift on the part of successive governments in the direction of neoliberalism, ‘modernisation’ or ‘Europeanisation’ has been linked with ideas about the marketisation of education and efforts to make the Greek education system more “effective” by introducing structures and forms of accountability similar to those that operate within capitalist organizations. At the same time, the distinctive features of the Greek education system, stemming from its socio-historical and cultural context, have continued to play a crucial role, not least in shaping the ways in which it has responded to pressures for modernisation.

In this Chapter I will begin by discussing some of these features, especially those relating to the nature of the Greek economic and political system and the role of education within it. I will examine the major changes that have taken place in the system since the 1960s in order to set the context for analysing the post-2008 education reforms. These were promoted initially by a nominally socialist government in the midst of a severe global economic crisis and they generated stormy reactions from educators and students. I am particularly interested in examining education reform after the 2015 general election, which resulted in the formation of a new government made up of a coalition of the radical Left party SYRIZA and the Right-wing party ANEL (‘Independent Greeks’). My aim is to highlight some of the tensions and controversies generated within the system as the integrative vision of the European Education Space, expressed through EU policies and the OECD, interacted with local contexts and diverse interests.

Item Type:

Book Section


Education, Greece, Greek economic and political system, SYRIZA, ANEL

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


29 October 2018Accepted
13 June 2019Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

20 Dec 2018 09:23

Last Modified:

21 Jun 2019 17:04


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