Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos
This paper analyzes the process of destabilization of state-society relations in Greece, owing to the recent economic crisis. The paper uses A. O. Hirschman’s analytical framework of “exit, voice and loyalty”.
Before the crisis erupted, a minimum loyalty of Greek society to the state was discernible, for as long as the state could selectively distribute resources to citizens and interest groups. Afterwards societal actors, subjected to harsh austerity measures, withdrew their loyalty. They turned against the state through large-scale mobilizations (“voice”). Later on, informal groups and networks of social solidarity supplanted the state in the provision of goods and services to the victims of the economic crisis. In this phase, without completely abandoning “voice”, citizens opted out in favour of an “exit” from the state, not understood in the literal sense of the word, but in terms of disaffection and alienation from the state.