Although it is impossible to make predictions about the outcome of the present crisis, it is often easy to forget that every crisis, no matter how deep, has an end. What will Greece be like when it gets out of it? It will certainly be poorer, but will it be healthier? The only way is to
learn from our current predicament and reject the things that got us here in the first place.
Learning can be assisted by a key insight: although the crisis is economic, its roots are to be found in the cultural, social, and political realm. We can make better sense of it by means of a provocative historical analogy: Greece’s present attempt to introduce fundamental reforms under extremely tight constraints shares many parallels with the Soviet Union’s Perestroika some two decades ago. This analogy offers an intriguing template for understanding how we got here and learn from it.
Stathis Kalyvas is a political scientist specializing in the study of party politics and global conflict; he is a regular commentator on Greek politics and society.
Stathis Kalyvas is Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science at Yale University, where he directs the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence. He has taught and lectured at several US and European universities, is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has published award-winning research. He comments on Greek politics and society through his regular column in the Sunday edition of Kathimerini.