Skip to main content
“Greece and the Claim to Regional Hegemony: Myth and Reality”
Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora (1998)
  • Efstathios T. Fakiolas, University of Peloponnese
This paper explores Greece's claim to the regional hegemony in the New Balkans. It challenges the prevailing view in that the picture that will be sketched out is quite different from the one that is generally held in Greece. It illustrates that in the broader context of the Balkan Peninsula Greece's economic and political hegemony is a great myth. The paper's thesis is that the country is not capable of assuming a leadership role of its own in the New Balkans, which is the meaning that a number of politicians, journalists, businessmen, and scholars most often attach to the notion of regional hegemony. It consists of two arguments: First, the distribution of power between Greece and the Balkan states concerned has indeed provided the former with a unique "objective" power, the structural opportunity to play an assertive part in Balkan affairs. Second, the perceptual, actual structural opportunity, the structural power, is conditioned by several systematic imperatives and domestic constraints: the strong economic and diplomatic presence of great powers, the significant political penetration and strategic importance of Turkey, the political disputes with PYROM and Albania, and the serious problems of Greek economy. All other things being equal, Greece as a regionally preeminent small power is able to play an active role as a partner in leadership. Such a role is liable to lead up to Greece's regional primacy. Regional primacy denotes the equal partnership in a regional leadership. This is far from the idea of regional hegemony, which refers to regional leadership of one's own.
  • Small States,
  • Greece,
  • New Balkans,
  • Regional Hegemony,
  • Security,
  • Strategy,
  • IR Theory
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
Citation Information
Efstathios T. Fakiolas. "“Greece and the Claim to Regional Hegemony: Myth and Reality”" Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora Vol. 24 Iss. 2 (1998)
Available at: