The appropriation of History and Religion to promote ethnic nationalism
Bouketsidis Skourtelis, M.A.
MetadataShow full item record
Ever since the outbreak of the recent political and socioeconomic crisis in Europe, nationalism has gained significant popularity. In addition, due to the increased refugee influx ethnic nationalism has been in the core of xenophobic rhetoric, especially in Greece. On several occasions in Greek history common religion and historical heritage, the two key elements of Hellenic national identity, have been utilised to enhance ethnic nationalism. Hence, this thesis seeks to investigate, how different types of Greek state administration, appropriated the key components of Hellenic identity, the Ancient Greek legacy and Christian Orthodox doctrine, to promote ethnic nationalism. The main hypothesis of the research is that national identity had been employed as a propaganda device but its application was different in the three regimes examined. The instrumentalisation of the Hellenic identity is adjusted according to the prevailing ideology and the political circumstances in each case. A literary analysis of the publicity material, used by the 4th of August regime (1936-1941), the 21st of April regime (1967-1974) and the social democrat administration of PASOK’s government (1981-1989), is conducted. The sources are mostly public speeches delivered by each regime’s leading figures. The research offers insight on understanding the manipulation of national identity by different political regimes. It has been inferred that in all three cases, the Hellenic identity was deliberately manipulated to enhance ethnic nationalism. However, not all three cases pursued national identity in a similar manner. What can be deduced from the case studies, is that ethnic nationalism had been promoted more notably by illiberal than liberal regimes. The appropriation of the national identity is subjective to the individual leader, depending on what conviction that person wishes to create in people’s minds.