Can Syriza be a Beacon for Left Parties in Europe?

Can Syriza be a Beacon for Left Parties in Europe?

By Jason Iliou

Greece turned a major page in its political history electing the first radical left party in parliament after years of center and right-wing governments. Continue reading

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The Macedonian Naming Dispute: Historical Interpretations or an Identity Crisis?

The Macedonian Naming Dispute: Historical Interpretations or an Identity Crisis?

by Jason Iliou

Introduction

The fluctuating political status quo of Eastern Europe, following the gradual collapse of Yugoslavia, stemming from the uncertainty that sprung from Tito’s death, led to the independence of the union states that comprised the Socialist Federal Republic. One of the successor states, the Republic of Macedonia declared its independence in 1991, and entered the United Nations in 1993 as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia following a naming dispute with Greece, in order to avoid any association with the Greek Macedonia. Regardless, the issue remains since the Republic of Macedonia claims to have a historic connection to Ancient Macedonia, an also significant part of Greek heritage. The Kingdom of Ancient Macedonia territorially involves parts of Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Albania, while its largest part belongs to Greece, as this was settled after the Balkan Wars. The UN has unsuccessfully stepped in to mediate the negotiations, while the dispute revolves around the political spectrum serving inter-political and intra-political interests for both sides. The issue has since evolved into a succession of alternative name suggestions putting an emphasis on the legalities of the matter instead of analyzing it deeper from a sociological perspective. The aim of this paper is not to suggest a solution to the dispute, nor to dictate which side is historically or politically correct. On the contrary, this analysis argues that the Macedonian naming dispute is an issue of identity crisis that follows Macedonia from its independence and as such, it should instead be assessed sociologically by examining Macedonian identity controversies from the Yugoslavian era, juxtaposed with national identity issues that followed the dissolution of the former Socialist Republic. The results of this analysis will be compared to those of Bosnia – a socially and demographically similar case study – in order to discover identical patterns to serve a wider theoretical approach on nationalism and ethnic identity, to stress the interplay of the two in affecting national identity within territorially confined spaces.

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The Ultimate Sacrifice: Analyzing Suicide Terrorism

The Ultimate Sacrifice: Analyzing Suicide Terrorism

By Jason Illiou*

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Introduction

Although the 9/11 attacks served as a wakeup call for the study and nature of terrorism mainly through a contemporary scope, the origins of the concept and its most violent derivative – suicide terrorism, have references that date back to the biblical era. In fact, the first recorded appearance of terrorism as we identify it today is paralleled with suicidal attacks while several of its elements, such as motivation and targeting are closely associated with methods witnessed in numerous modern cases. From the Zealots’ and Sicarii’s struggle against the Romans in 73 B.C that was terminated with a mass suicide, to the extremist Hashishins and their famous suicide missions, illustrate the first clear cases of small groups practicing terrorist acts against their stronger adversaries, introducing a new phenomenon in warfare tactics that insofar, lacks clear understanding and begs clarification regarding an appropriate definition[1].

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The Greek Reality and Hopes for a Better Future

The Greek Reality and Hopes for a Better Future

By Jason Iliou

“If you tolerate this, your children will be next”.

The line from the famous 1998 rock song by the Manic Street Preachers defines a country’s entire generation. My generation. I belong to the thousands of young Greeks who were fortunate enough to flee their home country in time to escape the political and financial chaos that haunts it and drags it down today. But “wherever I go Greece hurts me” as Nobel laureate Giorgos Seferis once said. The state the country is in now is a result of years of bad decisions, but it’s not only a political fault. Partly, we are responsible for knowingly digging our own graves. Yet is there room for concrete changes in Greek society, or is the wound too deep to heal? Continue reading