Monday, 7 December 2009

Publication available on amazon

The book

Greece in the Balkans: Memory, Conflict and Exchange

is now available from

The volume includes a chapter, by this blogger, on the Greek-Albanian rapprochement of 1971 .

Here's the description:

This volume brings together young researchers in an interdisciplinary study of Greek interaction with other Balkan states over the past two hundred years. The thirteen chapters of the volume reflect the diversity of a long and complex relationship between Greece and its Balkan neighbours. They thus shed refreshing light on its persistent attributes of opportunity and risk, attraction and enmity, exchange and exclusion, through exploration of historical, anthropological, literary, political and economic perspectives.

And here's some information on the editors of the volume:

Othon Anastasakis is Director of South East European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX) and Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford. He has published widely on transition to democracy, comparative politics in South East Europe, EU enlargement, Greek-Turkish relations and regional cooperation in the Balkans. Dimitar Bechev is a Research Fellow at the European Studies Centre, St Antony's College, Oxford and Lecturer in International Relations at Worcester College. He has published widely on Balkan politics and is the co-editor of Mediterranean Frontiers: Borders, Conflict and Memory in a Transnational World (IB Tauris, 2009). Nicholas Vrousalis is a doctoral student in Philosophy at the University of Oxford. He headed the organisation of the 2006 Greece and the Balkans conference on behalf of the Oxford University Greek Society.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

1970 UK election

The June 1970 UK general election marked a change in Whitehall, with the Conservative party achieving a surprise victory to return to office after a hiatus of almost six years in opposition.

This video shows Wilson leaving Downing Street, Heath celebrating victory and welcoming US President Nixon to the UK.

Sir Brooks Richards

In this newsreel excerpt Sir Brooks Richards presents his credentials to the President of Greece, General Gizikis, in September 1974.

Brooks Richards succeeded Sir Robin Hooper in what was his second and last post as an ambassador. He stayed in Greece until 1978, when he retired from the Foreign Office.

A few months after the fall of the junta, Brooks Richards admitted that Greece had emerged from
the dictatorship ‘in better shape’ than the British had expected.
He also believed the time had come to revise the state of Anglo-Greek relations, and he suggested a series of ‘quite modest developments’, as a sign of British recognition of the change that had taken
place in Greece.

In this video you can watch him talking in Greek, while he presents the prizes (a trip to London) to the winners of a BBC competition.

ERT Archives

The Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), that is the Greek state-owned public radio and television broadcasting corporation, has decided to digitize its archive and make it available online.

I have collected here some material (mostly newsreel excerpts) pertaining to Anglo-Greek relations and is already online:

Roy Hattersley (person in charge of renegotiating the terms of the UK's membership of the EEC) was the first British minister to visit Greece since the restoration of democracy.
You can watch a video of his arrival here.
He stated that he went to Athens to help improve relations with Greece, and discuss issues of common concern, such as the situation in Cyprus and Greece's application of the EEC (two weeks before the UK held its European Communities membership referendum - by the way, here's a historian's view of what would have happened if Britain had voted 'no').

The following day Hattersley talked to the press about the nature and the atmosphere of the discussions he had with Foreign Minister Bitsios. You can watch that here.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

17th November

Since todays marks the 36th anniversary of the Athens Polytechinc uprising (see relevant post), I've decided to upload a small text (in Greek) that I've written on the British connection of the events preceding and following the uprising.

Here it is:

Οι Βρετανοί και η 17η Νοεμβρίου

Του Αλέξανδρου Ναυπλιώτη*

Το φθινόπωρο του 1973 σήμανε την αναγέννηση της καριέρας του Πωλ Μακάρτνεϊ. Η συνεργασία του με τους Γουίνγκς για το τραγούδι της πρώτης ταινίας του Ρότζερ Μουρ ως Τζέιμς Μποντ σημείωνε μεγάλη επιτυχία καθώς οι Βρετανοί επέλεγαν να ακούσουν το «Live and Let Die» ξανά και ξανά.
Την ίδια μέρα που κυκλοφορούσε το τραγούδι ο Γεώργιος Παπαδόπουλος αποφάσιζε να ζήσει και να αφήσει την «Επανάσταση» της 21ης Απριλίου να πεθάνει, ανακοινώνοντας την άρση του στρατιωτικού νόμου και τον σχηματισμό κυβέρνησης πολιτικών. Η εισήγηση του Φόρεϊν Οφις ήταν να δείξει η Βρετανία ότι επικροτούσε «υπό όρους» τον σχηματισμό της κυβέρνησης Μαρκεζίνη, παρουσιάζοντας ένα «πακέτο» προτάσεων, σημαντικότερα μέρη του οποίου ήταν η ανταλλαγή επίσημων επισκέψεων και η προώθηση καλύτερης συνεργασίας στον τομέα της άμυνας (συμπεριλαμβανομένων και πωλήσεων φρεγάτων στο Ελληνικό Ναυτικό).
Η συντηρητική κυβέρνηση του Έντουαρντ Χηθ αποφάσισε να πάει ένα βήμα παραπέρα στην πολιτική της έναντι της Ελλάδας και να ενθαρρύνει την επιστροφή της χώρας στη δημοκρατία, χωρίς ωστόσο να επιμείνει τόσο ώστε να θέσει σε κίνδυνο τα άλλα συμφέροντά της, όπως η αποτελεσματικότητα του ΝΑΤΟ, η Κύπρος, και οι εμπορικές σχέσεις των δύο χωρών. Καταλυτικά για αυτή την απόφαση επέδρασαν η αμοιβαία συμπάθεια Βρετανών-Μαρκεζίνη και, κυρίως, οι έντονες επικρίσεις στη Βουλή των Κοινοτήτων για τη φύση του καθεστώτος των Αθηνών που επηρέαζαν και την ταυτόχρονη συζήτηση για την έγκριση του πρωτοκόλλου σύνδεσης Ελλάδας-ΕΟΚ, καθώς η Βρετανία αποτελούσε πια μέλος της Κοινότητας.
Στις αρχές του Νοεμβρίου η βρετανική διπλωματία ήταν διχασμένη, με το Νοτιοευρωπαϊκό τμήμα του Φόρεϊν Οφις να προωθεί μία ενεργητική πολιτική βελτίωσης σχέσεων και τον Βρετανό Πρέσβη Χούπερ να τηρεί στάση αναμονής. Η εξέγερση του Πολυτεχνείου έθεσε φρένο στις πολιτικές κινήσεις που ετοίμαζε το Λονδίνο και ανέδειξε νικητή της άτυπης μάχης τον Χούπερ, ο οποίος υποστήριζε πως η ακολουθητέα οδός ήταν η συνήθης πολιτική του «wait and see». Η βίαιη καταστολή της εξέγερσης του Πολυτεχνείου συζητήθηκε στο υπουργικό συμβούλιο της Μεγάλης Βρετανίας, όπου ο υπουργός Εξωτερικών Σερ Άλεκ Ντάγκλας-Χιουμ εξέφρασε την απογοήτευση του για τη «σοβαρή οπισθοδρόμηση» στην πορεία της επιστροφής της δημοκρατίας στην Ελλάδα.
Αναφορικά με τα γεγονότα της 16-17ης Νοεμβρίου, ο Βρετανός Πρέσβης πίστευε πως η απουσία κατάλληλου εξοπλισμού ελέγχου ταραχών (ως αποτέλεσμα της άρνησης Δυτικών χωρών να προμηθεύσουν τους Συνταγματάρχες με τέτοιο υλικό) ανάγκασε τον στρατό να «σπάσει ένα καρύδι με μία ατμόσφυρα». Ο Χούπερ έκλεισε την αναφορά του γράφοντας ότι «έξι μήνες είναι μεγάλο διάστημα στην ελληνική πολιτική». Ωστόσο χρειάστηκαν μόλις τρεις ημέρες για να λάβει χώρα ακόμη ένα πραξικόπημα και να καταρρεύσει η κυβέρνηση Μαρκεζίνη.
Περίπου έξι μήνες χρειάστηκαν, όμως, για να γίνει ο επόμενος δίσκος του Πωλ Μακάρτνεϊ ο πλέον επιτυχής από τις προσωπικές δουλειές όλων των πρώην «Σκαθαριών». Το «Band on the Run» κυκλοφόρησε τις πρώτες μέρες της δικτατορίας Ιωαννίδη και έφτασε στην κορυφή των τσαρτς το καλοκαίρι του 1974. Περίπου το ίδιο διάστημα πήρε για να αποδειχθεί ότι η δικτατορία στην Ελλάδα δεν ήταν παντοτινή και οι πρωτεργάτες της να καταλήξουν όπως ο τίτλος του δίσκου που πούλησε περισσότερο από κάθε άλλον στη Μεγάλη Βρετανία το 1974.

* Ο Αλέξανδρος Ναυπλιώτης είναι Υποψήφιος Διδάκτωρ Διεθνούς Ιστορίας στο London School of Economics.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


This blogger's first publication is out:

Alexandros Nafpliotis, "The 1971 Re-establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Greece
and Albania: Cooperation and Strategic Partnership within Cold War
Bipolarity?" in Othon Anastasakis, Dimitar Bechev and Nicholas Vrousalis (eds.) Greece in the Balkans: Memory, Conflict and Exchange, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.

You can see a sample (including the preface which was written by Thanos Veremis) here.

Here's the excerpt from the overview that refers to this blogger's chapter:

'The next chapter takes us to the midst of the Cold War environment
which separated Greece from its northern neighbours, while inducing
antagonism and military competition from the outside South East Europe.
During such difficult times, however, the region’s leaders tried, more often
than not, to avoid mutual confrontation. Hence the selective attempts by
Greece to reengage with its neighbours during the Cold War. Indeed, by
the 1970s, ideological rifts mattered less than converging national
interests, so much so that Greece reengaged with its neighbours while
under a military junta. Alexandros Nafpliotis studies the colonels’ regime,
which re-established diplomatic relations with Albania, one of Europe’s
most hardline communist dictatorships, after a freeze lasting more than 30
years. Nafpliotis argues that economic cooperation and strategic
calculations trumped the logic of ideological rivalries and extreme
ideological enemies, such as Enver Hoxha in Tirana and the military
junta in Athens, chose to explore paths of cooperation.'

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

New book

Take a look at my supervisor's latest book on Metternich and Austria.

Here's some info on the book:

'This is the first serious appraisal of Metternich's role in the Austrian Empire and beyond. Covering both domestic and international affairs, Sked presents a fresh and convincing description of Metternich's era and argues that despite his battered historical reputation, Metternich was the leading diplomat in Europe over four decades.'

Praise for the book:

'Sked needs no introduction: he is one of a handful of leading scholars on the Habsburg empire, as well as a marvellous writer, whose elegant style draws the reader painlessly through a rich text...It opens a door, as does no other work in English, to a fascinating and significant period of history, which, today, tends to be overlooked and is often misunderstood'
--Professor J.R. Gillingham, University of Missouri-St.Louis, USA

'This is easily the best book written on Metternich in the last quarter century.'
--Professor John Charmely, University of East Anglia, UK


This blogger has now completed and submitted his thesis to the London School of Economics and Political Science.

I am hoping to be able to upload much more material on the subject of the thesis soon.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

LSE Symposium

Here's a link to the LSE Symposium programme.

I'll be presenting on the second day, Friday 26th June:
Session II, Panel 1 - History II: The Enosis & the Greek Junta
Room: U110, Tower 1, London School of Economics and Political Science.

See you there.

Monday, 6 April 2009

4th HO PhD Symposium on Contemporary Greece and Cyprus

This blogger will have the pleasure to present a paper on 'British foreign policy towards the Greek junta, 1967-1974' at the 4th PhD symposium to take place 25-26 June under the aegis of the Hellenic Observatory of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

I had given a paper also at the 2nd PhD symposium back in 2005 (see panel and read paper here).
It was a wonderful experience and I am delighted to be a part of it once again this year.

CCBH conference

There's now been a change as regards the CCBH conference to take place in late June.
This blogger will present a paper on 'British foreign policy towards the Greek junta, 1970-1974', concentrating thus on the Conservative government's relations with the military regime in Athens.

Dr Effie Pedaliu will speak on the Wilson (Labour) government's policy towards the Greek Colonels, that is the period covering the years 1967-1970.
See also her well researched and well written
article on 'Human Rights ans Foreign Policy: Wilson and the Greek Dictators: 1967-1970' that appeared in Diplomacy & Statecraft.

Both papers will be presented on the same panel of the said conference, on the 25th of June 2009.

You can find the programme here.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Thesis abstract

I have now added a tentative thesis abstract to the number of links located on the right hand side.
You can get a taste of my PhD thesis by looking at it here.

Monday, 16 March 2009

New book

A new book on Greek politics after the Civil War has come out in Greek.
It is a very well-written and thoroughly researched endeavour to analyse the major actors and events that shaped postwar Greece.

The book, which is written by an established Greek researcher (Sotiris Rizas) who has published extensively on a variety of topics including Britain, the US and Cyprus, is entitled 'Greek politics after the Civil War: parliamentarism and dictatorship' (translation mine), and thus also covers the period of the Greek junta, 1967-1974.

More info (in Greek) here.

CCBH Annual Conference

This blogger will be presenting a paper on 'British foreign policy towards the Greek junta, 1967-1974' at the Centre for Contemporary British History (CCBH) 2009 Conference entitled: 'Britain and the End of the Cold War', to take place 22-25 June at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London.

More detailed information will follow.