Research Project

Ioannis C. Lovoulos, Political Science

Advisor: Daniel Kelemen, Political Science

This project analyzes the major contenders for the Greek General Election in 2019. Specifically, I ask why each of them—New Democracy, SYRIZA, Independent Greeks, and Golden Dawn—increasingly look to Russia in terms of their respective foreign policy. I identify and analyze three motives for why Greece’s political parties seek alignment with Putin’s political agenda. I then consider whether Greece’s flirtation with Russia poses a long-term danger to western, namely American, interests as well as Greece’s status as a western democracy. I theorize how the proverbial gates are opened to Russian influence: whether at the national level, or via individual political parties, or even influential individuals, which make certain states like Greece vulnerable. This project thus complicates the dominant account in the relevant literature that frames nations as passive “Trojan Horses,” which serve as conduits for Russian intervention. I conclude by assessing the ramifications of Greece’s ties with Moscow not only for the future of Greek politics, but for the future of an American presence in an ever-more important strategic part of the world.