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Tag Archives: Jacques Derrida

by Akis Gavriilidis

 

 

The current conjuncture, in Greece and also beyond, is marked by efforts to make sense of what happened at the February negotiations within the Eurogroup. Sources close to the Greek government try to present their outcome as a «victory», while other people, outside but also inside SYRIZA, consider instead that this was a “defeat” or a “capitulation”.

I believe the latter impression presupposes a conception about strategy which is itself Eurocentric and masculinist (or phallogocentric, to use Derrida’s neologism); a conception organized around the image of the definitive battle where one has to show bravery and prevail over the opponent. Without sharing the view that this was exactly a “victory” –for roughly the same reasons.

In what follows, I will try in turn to read the strategy (if any) applied by the Greek government in these negotiations, and its gains (if any), through the lens of two closely related axioms:

– Power is not a thing, nor a substance, but it is the capacity of acting upon actions (Foucault).

– The good strategy is to try not to crush your opponent’s forces, but to use them –especially when these forces are devastatingly Read More

by Akis Gavriilidis

I. Introduction

In an interview to the Macedonian Television in February 2011, the British diplomat Robin O’Neil declared:

“The Greece-Macedonia name row is the most bizarre diplomatic dispute in Europe today. No one outside of Greece can perceive why should Macedonia change its name. What is Greece’s national interest in doing this? Greece has not suffered in any way as a result of Macedonia’s existence under the current name in the past 20 years, and Greece never opposed Macedonia’s existence as part of SFR Yugoslavia»[1].

He also said that “the consistent Greek opposition to Macedonia’s NATO and EU accession is especially difficult to understand” (ibid.).

O’Neil here states the obvious as regards diplomatic practice and international relations, but what he says is also valid epistemologically. I think that his statement is a very useful way to start a treatment of the issue from a political theory point of view as well: in fact, if diplomats had a hard time to figure out what Greece is trying to achieve or to avoid by its reaction, social theorists did not do much better up to Read More