Public event

Professor Dimitris Papadimitriou (University of Manchester) delivers the 2019 McWhinney Lecture

April 15, 2019

2019 marked the third instalment of the Edward and Emily McWhinney Memorial Lecture, an annual public event established to honour two long-time supporters of Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University. The McWhinneys were committed to academic excellence and public service and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies is honoured to support public discussion on the kinds of topics that animated their intellectual and professional lives. Professor Emeritus Edward McWhinney, QC passed away in 2015 on his ninety-first birthday, following a short illness. He was predeceased by his wife Emily McWhinney, who passed away in 2011.

This year the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies welcomed Dr. Dimitris Papadimitriou to the podium for a public talk entitled "Bailout Legacies: The Imprint of the Greek Economic Crisis on the European Union." Dr. Papadimitriou is Professor of Politics at the University of Manchester and Director of the Manchester Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. He is also a leading scholar of Greek politics and public policy and has written extensively on the European Union’s political economy and external relations. His latest book, Prime Ministers in Greece: The Paradox of Power (with Kevin Featherstone) was published by Oxford University Press in 2015.

The lecture was held on April 8th at SFU’s Segal Building in downtown Vancouver, which as the former site of the Vancouver headquarters for the Bank of Montréal, was an appropriate venue given the topic. The event was opened by the Acting Director of the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies, Dr. Dimitris Krallis, Associate Professor of Byzantine History in the Hellenic Studies Program at SFU. Dr. Krallis welcomed everyone to the event and acknowledged the Coast Salish People on whose traditional territories the lecture was taking place. We were very pleased to be joined by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dr. Jane Pulkingham who spoke about the university’s mandate for community engagement and important work that the Centre was doing on that front, before introducing the night’s speaker.

Dr. Papadimitriou’s lecture considered the three ‘euro’ bailouts and their impacts on democratic governance in Greece, where the Troika imposed unprecedented external conditions and intense monitoring of putatively sovereign government actions. Ultimately, the implications of this intervention are immense and stretch beyond Greece: they affect understandings of accountability, democratic choice and legitimacy within the process of European integration. Following a lively question and answer session, the lecture was concluded by a reception in the stately Founder’s Hall, where many of the issues and questions raised by the lecture were discussed by the assembled university community.

The discussion, however, did not end there. The following morning, Dr. Papadimitriou arrived at Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus for a seminar on elite European discourses during the Greek financial crisis (2008-2015), entitled “Talking Crisis: Elite European Discourses on the Greek Bailouts.” Co-sponsored by SFU’s Department of Political Science and the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies, the seminar charted the changes in communicative discourse by EU (and IMF) elites over the Greek crisis, from ‘neglect’, ‘suspicious cooperation’, ‘blame’ and onto ‘reluctant redemption’.

For more information about the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies, please visit our Media page.