European Identity and Citizenship Education. The case of Greece

Issue 2

“European Identity and Citizenship Education. The case of Greece ”

Loucas Petronicolos
Page 95 – 126


This study examines the development of the notions “citizen”, “Greek identity” and “citizenship education” in the context of Greece’s membership in the European Union. More specifically, it relates such development to the official policies of the European Union for a Europe of citizens, on the one hand, and to the various reactions of the Greek society towards that idea, on the other. A number of prominent political theorists have demonstrated that in Greek politics “Europeanization” is often used to denote modernization, a process that is superimposed on Greek Society by state bureaucrats, foreign interests and local political elites. The study’s thesis is that members of society attempt to resist such superimposition by projecting the Greek identity as a fuzzy concept or a notion that it is characterized by a continuous “crisis”. Hence, terms like “Greek identity” but also “European citizen” refer to social acts that often constitute attempts to resist the authoritarianism of state bureaucracy and political elites. That is, modern Greek identity develops dialectically through the individual and collective rationalizations of the symbolisms that (re)produce the initiatives of the EU for strengthening of the European dimension of citizenship as well as the position of the Greek society towards the prospect of its Europeanization. The answers to questions about the identity of today’s citizens of Greece and about what his or her education ought to be will be searched through the critical analysis of such acts of resistance in school and the broader society.