What is it about?

The article shows how an emotional concern for Greek dignity affected the Syriza government's brinkmanship tactics. It claims that a passion for national status had a crucial impact on the escalation of the debt crisis.

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Why is it important?

The article tries to demonstrate how theoretical insights about emotions and status concerns can complement rational choice explanations in International Political Economy.


The article derives from my general interest in the role of status, respect, and emotions in international relations. It covers an almost tragic phase of German-Greek relations when passions ran high on both sides. While it focuses on Greek miscalculations, it is not intended as a one-sided justification of the creditors' policies. Who can blame Greeks for agonizing over their country's loss of economic sovereignty?

Reinhard Wolf
Goethe-Universitat Frankfurt am Main

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This page is a summary of: Debt, dignity, and defiance: why Greece went to the brink, Review of International Political Economy, October 2018, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/09692290.2018.1490331.
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