The political economy of greek policing: Between neo-liberalism and the sovereign state

George S. Rigakos*, Georgios Papanicolaou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article interrogates historical developments, modern structures and future trends in Greek policing from the viewpoint of contemporary neo-liberal policing and social theory. We argue throughout this article that although neo-liberal thinking has indeed recently crept into the rhetoric and logics of Greek governance, the particular social, geographical and political history of the Hellenic Republic has muted these tendencies significantly for policing. Rather than reflecting changes toward post-Keynesian or postmodern policing, Greece (and Greek policing) is confronted by the basic modernist dilemma of ensuring state integrity both physically in the material military security of its borders and vast coastline, and ideologically in the battle for establishing public trust in the efficiency and effectiveness of government. This article analyzes relevant statutes and offers data on the growth of the Greek police and the relatively small private security sector. We conclude that while it is tempting to point to Greece as an exception to the general theoretical maxim that the provision of policing is fragmenting and de-centring as the state is shrinking, there are more and more examples of the recrudescence, re-emergence and continuing central relevance of the state for security provision in other national contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-304
Number of pages34
JournalPolicing and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes


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