[MGSA-L] Greek Public Policy Forum

Vassilios Lambropoulos vlambrop at umich.edu
Sun Apr 17 07:53:53 PDT 2011


A call for proposals from a new academic initiative:

Greek Public Policy Forum
CALL FOR PROPOSALS
University of Oxford
Nuffield College
23 – 24 June 2011

1. The initiative
Who we are: the “Greek Public Policy Forum” is an initiative led mainly by a number of
university scholars and more generally by people who actively participate in public
debate, the society and the market, regardless of academic titles or other qualifications.
Although no strict rule applies, most of us live and work abroad and belong to the
younger generation.
What motivates us: The Forum does not have an academic orientation. As an initiative,
it is purely political and it reflects the following common belief. We are following
developments in Greece with great concern. We believe that the economic failure reflects
a broader socio-political crisis of the Greek society regarding its values and its
institutions. Modern Greece has failed to protect its most fundamental values, has a
democratic and judicial deficit, a social deficit with regard to the protection of the truly
vulnerable, is inert and unable to follow the debates and developments that are currently
taking place at the international level, and, even worse, does seem unwilling to be selfcritical
in a sincere and meaningful way. These shortcomings are evident in all spheres of
public life, including the political parties, the press and the media, the judicial system,
trade unions and universities.
What we aspire to achieve: The ambition of this initiative is not to correct these
problems. Such a task would require radical reform that shall be exclusively the result of
initiatives taken by political parties, who, because of their democratic legitimacy, are
authorised to decide and control the destiny of the country. Yet we believe that we
should not expect everything from Athens.
We trust that if we co-ordinate our efforts we will be able to offer something entirely
new. Our ambition is to establish a tribune for quality dialogue about the problems of the
country. This tribune will be based in principle abroad, mainly relying on the skills and
experience of Greeks working in universities, businesses and institutions in Europe and
in the US. These Greeks find themselves outside the systemic malfunctions of our
country, are not economically dependent upon any, private or public, Greek body, and
have gained considerable experience from the practices and policies of the countries in
which they live.
The means for achieving these goals: Our aim is to convene regular meetings and
workshops in Greece and abroad entitled “Greek Public Policy Forum” (or, briefly,
“Greek Forum”). The purpose of these meetings will be to offer a well-organised basis
for dialogue on Greek politics, to serve as an “agora” for criticism, deconstruction of
myths and stereotypes and, primarily, submission of concrete policy ideas and proposals
for Greek politics.
The structure of the Forum: With regard to its organisation, the Forum will be headed
by an executive committee mainly composed of Greeks who reside abroad. Invited to
contribute at each of our meetings will be distinguished specialists that will be selected by
the Forum. Furthermore, an open call will be published each time inviting anyone
interested to submit a proposal. Once presented orally, the public policy proposals will be
submitted to free debate and to critical evaluation. Finally, we aim at publishing online all
proposals, comments and discussions, so that they are accessible by any interested party.

2. The Oxford Forum
The first Greek Public Policy Forum will take place on 23 and 24 June 2011 at Nuffield
College, University of Oxford. Its works will be open to the public that is warmly invited
to participate in the debate that will follow each set of presentations, according to the
broader thematic areas in which these will be organised.
Those interested in participating are invited to send their proposal by email to the
member of the organising committee, Vassilis Tzevelekos, at v.tzevelekos at ac.uk.hull.
The deadline for submission of proposals is Monday, May 02. Proposals will be blind
reviewed by the executive committee and the results of the selection procedure will be
communicated on Monday, May 09.
Proposals may relate to any question of Greek politics. No restriction shall apply as to the
topic covered, although, given the circumstances, issues that relate to immediate and
pressing needs for reform are considered more crucial. We welcome, however, any kind
of suggestions, even outside the aforementioned general thematic area, provided that they
provide proposals for the substantial change of direction in any of the areas of the wider
spectrum of political action, such as, for instance, energy policy, immigration or foreign
policy. Proposals must be written in Greek or English and shall not exceed the limit of
500 words. Anyone interested is welcome to submit her/his proposal. No restrictions
shall apply as to the status, age or any other identity characteristic of the submitter.
The proposals will be assessed on the basis of their originality and their potential to
contribute to the following triptych: self-awareness, solution, means. Priority will be given
to those proposals that build in the identification and understanding of the problems,
deficiencies and weaknesses of the Greek society, its politics and its institutions, as well as
to the proposals that point to political goals of radical reform and that, primarily, propose
concrete and politically feasible measures and means -completely innovative or inspired
by their successful implementation in other states- for achieving these goals.
Participants will be expected to present their proposal in any of the two languages,
English or Greek, to participate in the debate that will follow in either Greek or English
and, finally, to submit a written version of their presentation in Greek and English within
a reasonable period of time after the Forum. All contributions will be published online in
an open-access webpage that the organising committee will create for that purpose.
The Forum is lacking of financial means that would allow it to contribute to the costs of
participation, which will have to be entirely borne by the participants.
The organising committee of the first Greek Public Policy Forum
Aris Georgopoulos, lawyer, University of Nottingham
Pavlos Eleftheriadis, lawyer, University of Oxford
Elias Dinas, political scientist, University of Oxford
Vassilis Tzevelekos, lawyer, University of Hull
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