Public talk

Join us March 19th for the fourth annual Edward and Emily McWhinney Lecture featuring Harris Mylonas

January 23, 2020

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies is pleased to present Dr. Harris Mylonas, associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, for the fourth annual Edward and Emily McWhinney memorial lecture. Dr. Mylonas' public talk is entitled "Charismatic leadership and its discontents: the case of Greece" 

Thursday, March 19th, 2020 at 7pm

SFU Segal Building
500 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC

This event is free, but seating is limited.

You can read the abstract, speaker bio, and learn more about Edward and Emily McWhinney, below.


Why did Greece experience such a strong blow to its party system relative to other eurozone countries that also signed loan agreements and implemented stringent austerity measures? The consensus appears to be that the patronage contract (i.e. the party-dominated patron-client networks that reproduced the political and economic system which had existed since the country’s independence but was bureaucratized during the post-junta period) gradually deteriorated after 2010 as a result of stipulations in the MoUs signed with the country's creditors. While this explanation can help us account for much of the variation, I argue that in order to account for the severity of the political transformation in Greece, relative to other crisis-stricken countries of the eurozone, we need to consider the legacy of two charismatic leaders Constantine Karamanlis (1907-98) and Andreas Papandreou (1919-96).

Speaker bio

Harris Mylonas is associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. He is the editor-in-chief of Nationalities Papers published by Cambridge University Press for the Association for the Study of Nationalities. After completing his PhD in political science at Yale University in 2008, Mylonas was an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies at Harvard University (2008-09 & 2011-12). He recently served as associate dean for research at the Elliott School of International Affairs (2017-18). He is the chair of the Council for European Studies’ Historical Study of States and Regimes Research Network since 2019.

Mylonas’ work contributes to our understanding of states’ management of diversity that may originate from national minorities, immigrants, diasporas, or refugees. He is particularly interested in the role of decision makers’ perceptions about foreign involvement in their domestic affairs and the impact these perceptions have on the planning and implementation of state policies. He is the author of The Politics of Nation-Building: Making Co-Nationals, Refugees, and Minorities (Cambridge University Press, 2013), for which he won the 2014 European Studies Book Award by the Council for European Studies, as well as The Peter Katzenstein Book Prize  in 2013. Mylonas’ work has also been published in Perspectives on PoliticsComparative Political StudiesSecurity StudiesEuropean Journal of Political ResearchJournal of Ethnic and Migration StudiesNations and NationalismSocial Science QuarterlyNationalities PapersEthnopolitics, and various edited volumes. He is currently working on his next book tentatively titled Diaspora Management Logics where he analyzes various governmental decisions vis-à-vis different diaspora segments.  

The recent political and financial crisis in Europe, with Greece at its epicenter, occupied much of his attention in the past ten years. He published a series of op-eds in the Los Angeles TimesWashington PostForeign AffairsForeign, the GuardianNewsweek Japan, among others as well as more analytical pieces, academic articles, and chapters in edited volumes. Since 2010, he writes the annual report on developments in Greece for the European Journal of Political Research; since 2018, he contributes to the Freedom House reports on Greece and Cyprus. His documentary film Searching for Andreas: Political Leadership in Times of Crisis, which also deals with the deep causes of the recent financial and political crisis in Greece, premiered at the 2018 Thessaloniki Documentary Festival and won two awards at the 2019 International Documentary Festival of Ierapetra. 

Edward and Emily McWhinney

The Edward and Emily McWhinney Memorial Lecture was established in 2017 to honour the memory of two long-time friends and supporters of Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University and is devoted to contemporary issues in international relations.

Both Edward and Emily were committed to academic excellence and public service and this now annual lecture is a lasting legacy for the couple at SFU. It is organized by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies to support public discussion of the topics that animated the McWhinneys’ professional and intellectual 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.

Watch the video of last year's McWhinney Lecture here, delivered by Dimitris Papadimitriou of the University of Manchester.

For more information about the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies and its programs, please visit our Media page.