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“Greece in the New Balkans: A Neo-Realist Approach”
European Security (1997)
  • Efstathios T. Fakiolas, University of Peloponnese
The article concerns the structural possibility of Greece assuming a leadership role in the New Balkans. It argues that all other things being equal, Greece is not structurally fully capable of playing an active regional role of its own in Balkan security affairs. Even if we assume that Greece's neighbours and allies are willing to accord it the status of a regional leadership power, and that Greece is domestically able to bear the military and economic burden of responsibilities of this kind, such a status clashes with structural hurdles and imperatives. To go about the analysis, I pick up neo-realism which forms the theoretical framework for approaching the subject matter in an orderly way so that I understand in real world terms what systemic constraints are liable to bound up Greece's behaviour in the New Balkans. From this angle, the article concludes that the fundamental dilemma facing Greece is how to design a grand strategy that neither ignores structural constraints nor forecloses structural opportunity in sight. What is needed is a pattern of behaviour so that the country remains directly involved in the New Balkans as a partner in leadership, a pragmatic but active role commensurate with its structural position and real political and economic weight, as well as with its elites' and people's expectations.
  • Small States,
  • Greece,
  • New Balkans,
  • IR Theory,
  • Neorealism,
  • Regional Hegemony,
  • Security,
  • Strategy
Publication Date
Winter 1997
Citation Information
Efstathios T. Fakiolas. "“Greece in the New Balkans: A Neo-Realist Approach”" European Security Vol. 6 Iss. 4 (1997)
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