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Political romanticism in modern Greece

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We can distinguish between at least two theoretical frameworks--the liberal and the romantic--for understanding politics and the state. In the liberal framework, the purpose of the state is the welfare of the individual or the promotion of values that have to do with qualities of the person. In the romantic framework, politics is about the achievement of a collective historical end. We find both frameworks at work in modern Greek political thought. Fundamental disagreements in political discourse might be better understood if we saw them as expressions of these two fundamentally different general frameworks, the liberal and the romantic. Some of the modern views on the particularity of modern Greece can be easily seen as expressions of the romantic outlook. This might go some way toward explaining the "underdog" culture that prevails in much of modern Greek politics today and the difficulty of making legal and constitutional safeguards prominent political goals.

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