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The global economy is still experiencing the effects of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Over the last three years economies worldwide have slowed and international trade has declined. Most importantly, the crisis has negatively affected the lives of ordinary people, creating a sense of uncertainty about the future and thus posing a direct threat to social cohesion, thus posing new challenges to political leadership. Climate change is also forcing the developed world to formulate a common strategy that will balance growth and environmental protection. The aim of the book is to examine these international trends and comprehend the transformations that take place internationally. The multi-authored work presents several accounts on the course of vital aspects of politics and economy. As a result, the contents of the book focusses on four main subjects: 1) global economic crisis and its consequences, 2) economic governance, 3) political leadership, and 4) climate change.




In times of crisis the classical linkage between leadership and reform emerges with a renewed relevance. This issue has gained particular importance in the European Union due to its peculiar supranational consensus culture. From the inception of the Communities until the current global economic crisis, the history of integration offers abundant examples of national and EU-wide structural readjustments that have brought to the fore exceptional leadership.
Konstantina E. Botsiou, Antonis Klapsis

The Global Economic Crisis and the Case of Greece


Alternative Strategies for Greece’s Exit from the Economic Crisis

In early May 2010, Greece found itself on the verge of declaring a moratorium on payments as a result of inappropriate choices and omissions by consecutive governments for the past three decades, as well as the directionless governance of the country since October 2009.
Ioannis A. Mourmouras

The Crisis in the Eurozone: Problems and Solutions

The dramatic fiscal developments in Greece have provoked a huge and ongoing debate on how to deal with Greece’s predicaments and the Eurozone problems. the EU’s actual crisis management in response to Greece’s debt distress; debt resolution mechanisms in the Eurozone; and long-term solutions for the Eurozone or, more broadly, for the EU.1
Leszek Balcerowicz

Fiscal Rules in the EU: Time to Rethink and Start from the Basics

The economic literature provides a wide range of analysis on how fiscal aggregates in general and efficiency in the public sector in particular affect the economy. However, economic history has shown that fiscal and public policies often depart from what could be considered optimal.
Pyrros Papadimitriou

Economic Recession and Labour Migration

The recent economic crisis is considered to be the most severe there has been in the post–Second World War period. The developed world saw its financial security shattered as large financial institutions collapsed and stock markets began to shake. According to the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the economic recession began in the United States in December 2007 and ended in June 2009 (NBER, 2010, p. 1). Professor R. J. Gordon, a member of the committee, identifies this recession as the longest and deepest since the Great Depression in terms of job losses (Rambell, 2010).
Helene Mandalenakis

The Economic Recession in Greece

Intense economic fluctuations in output and overall prosperity have occurred for a long time, with different causes by period and geographic region. The main causes include climate change, pandemics, depletion of basic natural resources, application of new technologies, overproduction of some basic products (transport equipment, houses) and the unwarranted growth of the money and financial sector (Schumpeter, 1943).
Ross Fakiolas

The Political Economy of the Greek Crisis in the Framework of the European Monetary Union

In 1991, the Maastricht Treaty was signed in the eponymous Dutch town by all the European member states. This unique project, which was ratified by the last country (Germany) two years later, marked the end of a long road to achieving the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). From its earliest beginnings, the European project was a result of intergovernmental bargaining by the most powerful European countries in order to overcome global, regional and national challenges (Moravcsik, 1998; Hosli, 2000). Thus, under these conditions the European Union was strengthened and its common identity was promoted by its most powerful actors.
Pantelis Sklias

Is Greece a Failing Developed State? Causes and Socio-economic Consequences of the Financial Crisis

Is the Greek crisis an isolated case or the first of a series of future failing developed states? The Greek financial crisis is not on the front page of the Financial Times anymore, but it is far from over. The financial crisis did not manifest itself in Greece alone. Ireland has also sought an equally large EU-IMF rescue plan. Portugal and Spain have been under the microscope of the media and credit rating institutions. Such other instances in the Eurozone’s periphery have repercussions for the currency as a whole as well as for the EU (Straubhaar, 2010). Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are members of the Eurozone area, which means that they share the same currency with economic giants such as Germany and France.
Harris Mylonas

Four Waves of Financial Crises in 40 Years: The Story of a Dysfunctional International Monetary Arrangement

In the last 35 years, there have been four waves of financial crises, all of which have shared certain key features. Each has involved substantial declines in asset prices, often real estate. And all four have seen the failure of financial institutions in three or four or even more countries at the same time. Many banks have failed and have had to be rescued by their governments. In the absence of government financial assistance, the depositors in these banks would have lost much of their money.
Robert Z. Aliber

The Future of Economic Governance in the European Union

The content of the European economic union, the first of the two elements of the European Economic and Monetary Union (hereinafter the EMU), is defined in article 119, par. 1, of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (the TFEU) (OJ, 2008, pp. 47–199), according to which, “for the purposes set out in article 3 of the Treaty on European Union, the activities of the member states and the Union shall include, as provided in the Treaties, the adoption of an economic policy which is based on the close coordination of member states’ economic policies”.1
Christos Gortsos

Entrepreneurship and Economic Development: The Changing Role of Government

Over the past century, governments throughout the world have grown in size, in the amount they spend and in power. But people have come to expect too much from their governments – the governments that they enlarged, sustained and empowered with their votes and their taxes.
E. S. Savas

The Social Market Economy: A Cure for All Ills?

The Social Market Economy model is defined as an economic order which is mainly based on the free market but which includes elements of social balancing, namely, the principles of freedom, justice and solidarity (Hasse, Schneider and Weigelt, 2008).
Anthony Ioannidis

Political Leadership


Political Leadership in Greece in Times of Crisis

There are many different types of leadership: charismatic, consensual, dictatorial and so on. And there has been much study, by political scientists, sociologists and others, of the theory of leadership in the varied spheres of politics, business and war. Most of what I write will be based on personal experience and observation. But I should like to start with a little theory as a backdrop against which to consider the qualities of leadership.
Michael Llewellyn Smith

In the Name of “Europe”: Analysing Prime Ministerial Discourse from EU Membership to the Greek Financial Crisis

This chapter intends to outline the evolution of the employment of “Europe” in Greek prime ministerial communicative discourse over the years. It aims to illustrate how the current Prime Minister, George Papandreou, has adopted a double discourse in matters involving Europe. The first is the traditional domestic discourse in which governments anticipate garnering increased public justification for implementing their policies by legitimising their choices in the name of Europe, especially when proposed policy reforms are contentious and the opposition grows.
Christos Dimas

Climate Change and Environmental Protection


Climate Change: An Issue of International Concern

The earth’s climate is changing because of natural and anthropogenic contributions to the environment’s composition and structure. A balance has been maintained in our environment by interactions continuously operating since the dawn of life, between the biosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the cryosphere and the geosphere. These five spheres are continuously interacting to maintain a quasi-ecological equilibrium which includes adaptation by humans and ecosystems to new states of environmental equilibrium. In the past few decades, which form the so-called anthropocene period, it has been recognised that humans are contributing to climate change through a number of activities, the most notable of which are anthropogenic global emissions of greenhouse gases.
Christos Zerefos

European Energy Policy and Carbon-Free Electricity Generation

Today’s energy production and consumption are neither sustainable nor efficient from economic, social and environmental perspectives. Without the adoption of immediate and effective measures, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will double by 2050. As a result there is a growing awareness worldwide that a portfolio of technologies should be deployed in order to meet the energy challenge. Energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage (CCS), renewable energy sources (RES), nuclear power and transport technologies will all make a major contribution in the progress towards a low-carbon economy as well as towards a secure energy supply.
Emmanuel Kakaras

Targeting the Maritime Dimension of Climate Change: The Role of the European Union’s Integrated Maritime Policy

The impact of climate change can be observed in the coastal, insular and marine environment in Europe. Extreme weather events such as heat waves and draught, storms, extreme precipitation and the resulting floods are already evident in different European regions. The rise of the Baltic Sea, the floods in Venice and the recent drought in Cyprus are some of the most illustrative examples of the impact of the changing patterns of global climate in Europe. The challenges for European marine ecosystems are significant: temperature changes have an impact on ecological and biological processes, leading to alterations of species’ geographic distribution, the extinction of species unable to migrate or adapt in the new conditions and the emergence of new combinations of species.
Antonia Zervaki


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