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The Politics of Hospitality: Racism, Security and Migration in Contemporary Greece, 1990-2012

Pallas, Christos (2014) The Politics of Hospitality: Racism, Security and Migration in Contemporary Greece, 1990-2012. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

PHD Thesis_July 2014_Pallas_The Politics of Hospitality_ap.pdf

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This thesis examines the dominant responses to and struggles around immigration in contemporary political discourse in Greece. While immigration in Greece has received considerable scholarly and public attention, the question of racism has either been ignored or framed in problematic ways. This thesis argues that the question of racism should play a central role in accounting for these problematizations of immigration. Drawing on Poststructuralist theory and Psychoanalysis it is argued that the potency of racism in Greek political discourse emerges from its disavowed character as well as from the ways it is specifically inflected in appeals to Greece's selfunderstanding as a hospitable nation. Following how racism as a signifier figures (or is absent) in discourses around immigration and security, this thesis discloses the political and ideological operations at work whose critical explanation is articulated around the development of social, political and fantasmatic logics that characterize, sustain or challenge these discourses. This thesis shows not only how racism has come to be signified as itself a threat to Greek hospitality, but also how and why the social myth that any racist traits are new or effects of immigration enjoys widespread popularity. After reviewing the literature on the relations between 'Greek' and 'other', the immigration 'problem' in the 1990s, and its emergence as a security issue, a theoretical framework gravitating around the concepts of rhetoric and fantasy is developed as a means of approaching the political and ideological dimensions of racism. This approach is deployed in the investigation of parliamentary discourse on immigration and the 'demographic problem' (1990-2001), administrative detention and its contestation in the case of Pagani, Lesvos (2004-2010), urban immigrationrelated security practices in the centre of Athens (2010), and the Law School occupation by 300 immigrants on collective hunger strike (2011). These chapters trace the complicated and mobile relationships between racism, filoxenia, migration and security, suggesting that political discourse on immigration draws energies from the way the political and ideological dimensions of racism are foregrounded, amplified or made to resonate.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2019 15:15
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2019 15:17

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