Syriza in PowerReflections of a Reluctant Politician
Syriza in Power
Reflections of a Reluctant Politician

Amidst the turmoil of economic crisis, Greece has become the first European experiment of Left rule in a sea of neoliberalism. What happens when a government of the Left, committed to social justice and the reversal of austerity , is blackmailed into following policies it has fought against and strongly opposes? What can the experience of the Syriza government tell us about the prospects for the Left in the 21st century?

In this engaging and provocative book, Costas Douzinas uses his position as an 'accidental politician', unexpectedly propelled from academia into the world of Greek politics as a Syriza MP, to answer these urgent questions. Weaving together theoretical insights as a leading radical thinker with his inside knowledge of events and personalities, he examines the challenges facing Syriza since its assent to power in 2015 and draws out the theoretical and political lessons from one of the boldest and most difficult experiments in governing from the Left in an age of austerity.

Examining issues ranging from the coup against the Syriza government to the impact of the refugee crisis, from Grexit to Brexit and the future of Europe, this timely book will be of immense importance to anyone seeking to understand the Greek struggle and its implications for resistance, politics and culture in the contemporary world.

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  • October 2017
  • 248 pages
  • 135 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $82.50
  • 9781509511570
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9781509511587
  • Open eBook $19.95
  • 9781509511617
Table of Contents

Prologue: The Accidental Politician

A. Resistance Rising

1. From Utopia to Dystopia and Resistance, a Short Run

2. Hunger Strikers and Hunger Artists

3. Radical Philosophy Encounters Syriza

4. A Philosophy of Resistance

B. Syriza Agonistes

5. A Very European Coup

6. Contradiction is the Name of the Governing Left

C. Reflections on Life as Politician

7. Welcome To The Desert Of Disorderly Order

8. Learning from Ideology

9. The Curious Incident of the Missing TV Licenses

D. The Moral Advantage of the Left

10. The Ethos of the Left

11. Greeks or Europeans?

12. The Euro, the Sacred and the Holy

E. Left History

13. The Left and the Philosophy Of History

14. 1949, 1969, 1989: The Cycles of History

F. From Grexit to Brexit

15. Putting the Demos On Stage

16. Grexit and Brexit, Oxi and Leave

17. Brexit and Euroscepticism

G. Finis Europae

18. Finis Europae?

19. The Left and the Future of Europe

H. Cities of Refuge

20. Europe Between Two Infant Deaths

21. Human Rights For Martians


About the Author
Costas Douzinas is Professor of Law at Birkbeck, University of London, and Founding Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, as well as the Syriza member of the Hellenic parliament for Piraeus.
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"What a rare and wonderful book! Douzinas reflects with searing honesty on the challenges facing left parties trying to govern and protect embattled nations in an age of financialization and globalization. Because he is one of the most perspicacious critical legal and political theorists of our time, he has also offered a brilliant set of political theoretical meditations. By turns ironic, tragic, caustic and moving, Syriza in Power is essential reading for serious leftists everywhere."
Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley

"While the Syriza government elected in 2015 in Greece was teaching the world a lesson of courage and fidelity, Costas Douzinas, its “professor elect”, was teaching a lesson of lucidity, intelligence, and imagination. Above all, he makes plain that, in the darkest hour, history is not finished, because the resistance is rooted in the life and ideals of the people itself. Whether one entirely agrees or not with Douzinas’ “left Euroscepticism that can save Europe”, his politics of truth will prove immensely helpful."
Étienne Balibar, Kingston University
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