My first book, on British foreign policy towards Greece in the turbulent late 1960s and early 1970s, has now been published.
Here’s the description of the book:
At the apex of international Cold War tension, an alliance of Greek military leaders seized power in Athens. Seven years of violent political repression followed in Greece, yet, as Cold War allies, the Greek colonels had continued international support – especially from Britain. Why did the Wilson and Heath governments choose to pursue an alliance with these military dictators? Alexandros Nafpliotis’ book examines British foreign policy towards Greece, exposing a guiding principle of pragmatism above all else. This is the first systematic study of Britain and the Junta to be based on newly-released National Archive documents, US and Greek sources and personal interviews with leading actors. Britain and the Greek Colonels is a comprehensive history of international diplomacy and realpolitik in the Cold War period.
The book is featured on the LSE website- more information, here.
You can order the book by visiting the I.B. Tauris website.
Here’s a review of the book by Dr Sotiris Rizas:
‘Britain and the Greek Colonels is a lucid and detailed account of the relations between Britain and the first military regime established in Europe after World War II. Nafpliotis’ thorough research of the pertinent British, US and Greek archival records and his cogent analysis provide us with a clear understanding of the factors that influenced the formulation of British policy towards the dictatorship in Greece. London’s stance resembled that of the US and the major Western European, and eventually European Community, partners of Britain. With the exception of the policy followed by the Labour government that succeeded the Conservatives in 1974, Cold War considerations and commercial interests took precedence over political liberties and human rights and provided the background of what the author correctly identifies as the accommodation of the Greek dictatorship in the Cold War context.’
Dr Sotiris Rizas, director of research, Research Centre for the Study of Modern Greek History, Academy of Athens
Here’s a short text I wrote on ‘Ioannidis, Cyprus, and the irony of history‘.
You can read my contribution to Balkania, the blog of the LSE IDEAS Balkan International Affairs Programme here.
I recently obtained a PhD for my thesis on British foreign policy towards the Greek Colonels’ regime, 1967-1974.
My research uses recently released documents from both the UK and (for the first time) Greece to explore the Wilson and Heath governments’ diplomatic, defence, and trade relations with the military dictatorship that ruled Greece from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s.
The main hypothesis is that subsequent Labour and Conservative governments followed a pragmatic policy in their dealings with the Athens junta, mainly because of the significance attributed by Britain to security and financial concerns.
Greece’s allegiance to NATO and London’s willingness to continue (and expand) trade prospects with foreign countries meant that there was little space for human rights concerns in British foreign policy decision-making.
My PhD supervisor was Dr. (now Professor) Alan Sked