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Monday, 19 December 2022

Greek diaspora in times of crises and uncertainty: How do crises affect Greek diaspora-homeland relations?

On December 6, 2022, the American College of Greece organized a panel discussion at the ACG Events Hall on the occasion of the SEESOX publication of the edited volume Diaspora engagement in times of severe economic crisis: Greece and beyond. The book's co-authors, Dr. Othon Anastasakis, Director of European Studies Centre & SEESOX Principal Investigator of the Greek Diaspora Project at the University of Oxford, and Dr. Manolis Pratsinakis, Assistant Professor in Social Geography, Harokopio University and Research Affiliate, COMPAS, University of Oxford, presented their University of Oxford Greek Diaspora Project's case studies on how crises and global uncertainties affect contemporary Greek diaspora-homeland relations. Dr. Panos Vlachopoulos, Executive Dean at Deree – The American College of Greece, and Katerina Sokou, Theodore Couloumbis Research Fellow on "Greek-American Relations" at ELIAMEP, rounded off the panelists. Dr. David G. Horner, President of The American College of Greece, gave the opening remarks. The event was co-organized by the ACG Institute for Hellenic Culture and the Liberal Arts (IHCLA) and ACG Institute of Global Affairs (IGA). Dr. Eirini Karamouzi, IHCLA Fellow was the convenor of the event.

The panelists addressed the state of Greece's relations with its diaspora as these have evolved during the recent years of consecutive crises and uncertainty. They discussed the role and significance of Hellenism abroad by touching upon the following issues: the significance of diasporic institutions, crises-driven migration and diasporic mobility, diasporic solidarity with the motherland, the role of diasporic networks and associations in the era of technological communication.

Wednesday, 7 December 2022

Ukraine, Europe and the Future of World Order

On 19 November, as part of a conference on War and the future of Ukraine, there was a panel discussion on Ukraine, Europe and the Future of World Order. Timothy Garton Ash (St Antony's College, Oxford) chaired. Kateryna Zarembo (New Europe Center, Kyiv), Roy Allison (St Antony's College, Oxford) and Jonathan Holslag (Free University of Brussels) spoke.

Kateryna Zarembo spoke mainly about EU/Ukraine: EU normative positions, hierarchy, and the EU “you must do your homework” mantra.

Roy Allison spoke of Russia’s war of choice against Ukraine and its people. This went directly against the UN Charter, globally accepted principles, sovereignty, and the world and European security order. This explained the extraordinary level of support for Ukraine. There were many unanswered questions about the future, and the wider reaction to Russian revisionism and revanchism.

Jonathan Holslag examined the role of China: how would Russia’s invasion of Ukraine affect Chinese thinking about and planning for policy towards Taiwan.

In discussion there were many points about the NATO role. There was mainly a coalition of the willing under the broad NATO umbrella/consensus. NATO was built on interests, but above all on VALUES: this was strength. 

David Madden (Chair, SEESOX Steering Committee)

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Turkey: After Erdoğan?

On 23 November 2022 SESSOX held a panel called “Turkey: After Erdoğan?” that focused on what awaits Turkey if Erdoğan is voted out of power in the coming presidential and parliamentary elections, which will be held no later than June 2023. The event was chaired by Dimitar Bechev (Oxford School of Global and Area Studies) and the speakers were Sinan Ciddi (Marine Corps University) and William Park (King's College London).

Sinan Ciddi started by explaining why it is important to ask this question now and provided the background to the elections. He stated that this is the third time that President Erdoğan is running for presidency but his abilities to get re-elected are at its lowest. This is because of the growing resentment and anger among Turkish citizens due to exceptionally high inflation rates (officially 85%, but 150-160% according to non-governmental sources) and the devaluation of the Turkish lira against the USD and the Euro. Turkish society is also highly polarized, and the current government does not seem positioned or inclined to set the country back onto an even political and economic keel. Ciddi commented that the country has also become an isolated and distrusted country among its traditional partners and allies. Developments such as the negotiations with regards to the proposed NATO-accession of Finland and Sweden and the acquiring of Russian military and intelligence technologies compound the country’s international reputation, which in turn impacts the country’s economy. He then highlighted the erosion of the judiciary system, the lack of rule of law and the difficulty of governability with the presidential system. Against this background, he suggested that the requirement of achieving 50+1% of votes – a system that President Erdoğan designed himself - might be a challenge for him in these elections although he is re-gaining some support that he has lost.