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In the Service of Nationalism? International Law as a Foreign Policy Tool: The Case of Greece

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Abstract:

This paper will critically examine the place of international law in contemporary Greek foreign policy as well as popular culture. Nationalism found different expressions in Greek foreign policy since the restitution of democracy and throughout the ensuing three decades, searching for unity against emerging or recurrent challenges and perceived threats such as Turkey, the European Union, or Macedonia/FYROM. In this context, it will be argued that international law invocations traditionally formed the backbone of Greek foreign policy, although not necessarily always reflecting relevant convictions. At the same time, international law served as a domestically legitimizing factor for policies pursued. Through the discussion of empiric instances, it will be further argued that international law references only served as a foreign policy tool on various occasions reflecting nationalist stances and that Greece shifted away from a strict adherence or invocation of international law when other policy considerations and interests were prioritized. At the same time, international law and the monopoly of legality served as a basis for illusions of superiority at the popular level, fuelling the feeling of supremacy of Greece and the Greeks in cultural and political terms, especially with reference to the country's neighbors.
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Name: The Law and Society Association
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MLA Citation:

Tzimitras, Zachary. "In the Service of Nationalism? International Law as a Foreign Policy Tool: The Case of Greece" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Hilton Bonaventure, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 27, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p236514_index.html>

APA Citation:

Tzimitras, Z. H. , 2008-05-27 "In the Service of Nationalism? International Law as a Foreign Policy Tool: The Case of Greece" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Hilton Bonaventure, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p236514_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This paper will critically examine the place of international law in contemporary Greek foreign policy as well as popular culture. Nationalism found different expressions in Greek foreign policy since the restitution of democracy and throughout the ensuing three decades, searching for unity against emerging or recurrent challenges and perceived threats such as Turkey, the European Union, or Macedonia/FYROM. In this context, it will be argued that international law invocations traditionally formed the backbone of Greek foreign policy, although not necessarily always reflecting relevant convictions. At the same time, international law served as a domestically legitimizing factor for policies pursued. Through the discussion of empiric instances, it will be further argued that international law references only served as a foreign policy tool on various occasions reflecting nationalist stances and that Greece shifted away from a strict adherence or invocation of international law when other policy considerations and interests were prioritized. At the same time, international law and the monopoly of legality served as a basis for illusions of superiority at the popular level, fuelling the feeling of supremacy of Greece and the Greeks in cultural and political terms, especially with reference to the country's neighbors.

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