ECPR Section Title: Crisis Zone? State Quality and Democratic Quality in Southern Europe


ECPR Section ID: 58

ECPR Section Title: Crisis Zone? State Quality and Democratic Quality in Southern Europe

This session was organised by the ECPR Standing Group in Southern European Politics.

Background: The recent economic crisis has exposed the high degree of vulnerability suffered by Southern EU (SEU) member states. Despite their 30-year long membership of the Union and their Eurozone participation, SEUs have been faced with speculative attacks in the financial markets, while Greece’s near-default has triggered pan-European debates (and subsequent political action) to avoid collapse. Moreover, the crisis has produced a wave of public policy reforms in SEUs, most notably Greece, reforms adopted in a faster pace than ever before and meeting with comparatively little societal and interest group resistance.

Aim & Key Questions: This panel aims to provide a platform for comparing the problems, solutions and challenges that Southern EU (SEU) member-states are facing. Its raison d’être is motivated by a set of interlinked questions that paper givers are encouraged to reflect on:

  1. Which aspects of public policy in Southern Europe contributed to the crisis and to the fact that South European member states are the Eurozone‘s “weakest link”?
  2. What has been the public policy response of the administrations in the region to the crisis, and what lessons can we learn from their response?
  3. What does their response tell us about European public policy in terms of the Eurozone’s ability to reform public administration structures?
  4. What does the crisis tell us about the effectiveness of EU’s soft law framework on public policy/administration in strengthening national policy-making capacity?

This panel is convened by the Greek Politics Specialist Group (GPSG) of the Political Studies Association, UK.


Panel chairs:

Dr Stella Ladi, Panteion University, Athens, Greece: [email protected]

Dr Dimitris Tsarouhas, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey: [email protected]

Panel Discussant: Professor Leonardo Morlino, Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane, Italy


  1. Paraskevopoulos (University of Macedonia), “Accounting for variation in the impact of and response to economic crisis in Greece & Portugal”
  2. Clements (University of Leicester) and K. Nanou (European University Institute), “Economic crisis and public attitudes towards domestic and EU institutions in Greece, Portugal and Spain”
  3. Matsaganis (Athens University of Economics & Business), “Economic crisis and welfare reform in Greece”
  4. Clua-Losada (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona), “Spain’s goose chase: the flexibilisation of the labour market and the reduction of its public deficit under Zapatero’s presidency”