Andreas Papandreou: The Making of a Greek Democrat and Political Maverick | Wilson Center
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Andreas Papandreou: The Making of a Greek Democrat and Political Maverick

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Greece in the 1960s produced one of Europe's arguably most controversial post-WWII politicians. Andreas Papandreou’s maverick politics grew out of his conflict laden re-engagement with Greece in the 1960s. Returning to Athens after 20 years in the US where he had been a rising member of the American liberal establishment, Papandreou forged a social reform-oriented, nationalist politics in Greece that ultimately put him at odds with the US foreign policy establishment and made him the primary target of a pro-American military coup in 1967. Venerated by his admirers and despised by his detractors with equal passion, the Harvard-educated Papandreou left in his wake no clear-cut answer to the question of who he was and what he stood for. In this biography of Andreas Papandreou, the author Stan Draenos chronicles the events, struggles and ideas that defined the man's dramatic, intrigue-filled transformation from Kennedy-era modernizer to Cold War maverick. In the process the book examines the explosive interplay of character and circumstance that generated Papandreou's contentious, but powerfully consequential politics.

Joining Stan Draenos for this discussion will be Harris Mylonas, assistant professor of political science and international affairs at The George Washington University and author of The Politics of Nation-Building: Making Co-Nationals, Refugees and Minorities.

A political analyst and historian based in Athens, Greece, Stan Draenos (Σπύρος Δραΐνας) received his PhD in political theory at York University in Toronto after having studied at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Chicago. He has been a Research Fellow with Princeton University’s Hellenic Studies Program and has served as resident historian at the Andreas G. Papandreou Foundation in Athens.

As a Contributing Scholar at the Wilson Center, he wrote “United States Foreign Policy and the Liberal Awakening in Greece, 1958-67” (The Historical Review - Athens, 2008). Draenos has also given talks at the State University of New York seminar on the Modern Greek State, the Modern Greek Program at the University of Michigan, the Hellenic National Research Foundation’s Ermoupolis seminars, the University of Macedonia (Thessaloniki), and the Kokkalis Foundation (Athens) leadership lecture series.

Draenos has served as a media consultant to the Greek government and as an editor of 30 Days: Greece this Month. He has been a press secretary for the Majority Leader of the California state Senate, as well as a speech writer for government and corporate executives. In addition, Draenos has worked as an analyst for RCM Capital Management in San Francisco and as a report writer for Ernst & Young global marketing. He was also a feature writer on business and technology issues for Upside Magazine.

Harris Mylonas is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University. Mylonas is also an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies where he conducted research in 2008-2009 and 2011-2012 academic years. His research focuses on the processes of nation- and state-building, immigration, and the politicization of cultural differences. Mylonas' book, The Politics of Nation-Building: The Making of Co-Nationals, Refugees and Minorities (Cambridge University Press), identifies the conditions in which the ruling political elites of a state target non-core groups with assimilationist policies instead of granting them minority rights or excluding them from the state. His second book project--tentatively entitled The Politics of Ethnic Migration--focuses on the policies that states develop either to attract and/or to incorporate people returning to their country of origin, allegiance, or citizenship. His work has been published in Comparative Political Studies, Ethnopolitics, European Journal of Political Research, and various edited volumes. He has also published opinion pieces in international newspapers and magazines (LA Times, Foreign Policy,, Newsweek Japan, and Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review, among others). He teaches courses on Nationalism, Nation-Building in the Balkans, Qualitative Research Methods and European Integration.




  • Stan Draenos

    Contributing Scholar
    Research Consultant for the Andreas G. Papandreou Foundation
  • Harris Mylonas

    Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University