Although widely debated in broader socioeconomic terms, the Eurozone crisis has not received adequate scholarly attention with regards to the impact of alternative political systems. This article revisits the debate on majoritarian and consensus democracies drawing on recent evidence from the Eurozone debacle. Greece is particularly interesting both with regards to its potential ‘global spillover effects’ and choice of political system. Despite facing comparable challenges as Portugal and Spain, the country has become polarized socially and politically, seeing a record number of MP defections, electoral volatility and the rise of the militant extreme right. The article explains why Greece, the country that relied most extensively on majoritarian institutions, entered the global financial crisis in the most vulnerable position while subsequently faced insurmountable political and institutional obstacles in its management. The article points to the paradox of majoritarianism: in times of economic stress, the first ‘casualties’ are its strongest elements – centrist parties (bi-partisanship) and cabinet stability.
- Comparative Politics
- Debt Crisis