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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The team of the Japanese: A concept and politics of reform in Greece (1906–1908)
by Sawayanagi, Nanako, Ph.D., New York University, 2009, 363; 3380276
Abstract (Summary)

At the turn of the 20th century in Greece, the Team of the Japanese was the only parliamentary force to overtly criticize the prevalent political stalemate and to advocate state reform. This reform-oriented opposition party comprised only seven deputies and was active in the Greek parliament from 1906 to 1908. The Team rejected conventional patronage-based politics that relied on personal relationships. Instead, the Team argued for the development of policies based on Greek national interest as a whole, so that the Greek state might overcome the domestic and international crises it then faced.

This dissertation explores the short life of this tiny political party from its establishment to its dissolution. Focusing on its concrete activities in the Greek parliament, I discuss the Team's efforts to reform the state and I assess the Team's importance in Greek political history. Uniquely, the Team was avowedly uninterested in seizing power. Instead, it intended to supervise government behavior and, for the good of the nation, to induce the government to reorganize the state system. Hence, the Team actively supported government polices where it judged them beneficial to the nation. In this way, the Team tried to play a central role in the rebirth of the state.

The Team of the Japanese finally failed to bring substantial change to Greek politics. But their various attempts to create effective policies for the nation and to encourage virtuous and 'clean' politics did become a real threat to politicians who had long been immersed in petty party politics. The activities of the Team prove that there certainly existed the will and commitment to reform a state system in which apathy and disorder had been dominant.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fleming, Katherine
Commitee: Kotsonis, Yanni, Mazower, Mark, Theodoratou, Liana, Wolff, Larry
School: New York University
Department: History
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 70/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: European history, Modern history
Keywords: Greece, History, Political parties, Politics and government, Reform, Team of the Japanese, Twentieth century
Publication Number: 3380276
ISBN: 978-1-109-50694-5
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