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Title: The London Greek diaspora and national politics : the Anglo-Hellenic League and the idea of Greece, 1913-1919
Author: Kouta, Georgia
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 2680
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This dissertation attempts to understand the complex interactions between British and Greek political and business figures in London and Athens during the early twentieth century. It is a portrait, in particular, of the importance of the Greek diaspora in the politics of modern Greece. The role of diasporas is one of the most important current interpretative emphases of transnational historians, and I seek to map how diasporic Greeks, Anglo-Greeks and Philhellenes produced an extended programme of propaganda for the cause of the Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos. The focus of the dissertation is the Anglo-Hellenic League, which was founded in 1913 in London to ‘defend the just claims of Greece’. Since this is the first time the League has been the focus of a work of scholarship, it is one of the priorities of this dissertation to examine its identity, activity and discourse, which are contained in its public interventions. The dissertation, at its core, is a study of the origins and ideology of the League, based on manuscript and pamphlet sources and applying theoretical approaches drawn from both discourse analysis and the study of diasporas and nationalism. Following the history of the London Greek community from the late nineteenth century, I study how the economic interests of this commercial bourgeoisie shaped their political interventions in early twentieth-century Greece, and in particular their activity as an influential transnational interest group in favour of Venizelist politics. Through a meticulous study of the League’s forms of political speech in its pamphlets and other writings and its relations with eminent British and Greek figures, this thesis intends to map Anglo-Hellenic interactions during the First World War through the scope of this particular political organ of the Greek London diaspora. It seeks to provide a diasporic dimension to the internal Greek political crisis of that period, in which the League played an active role in debates about the future of Greek politics, the National Schism (1915–1917) and the aims of Greek foreign policy during the Balkan and First World War, as well as towards the Greek populations under Ottoman rule. In this context, I aim to show how the Greek diaspora of London constituted an idea of Greece for both British and Greek consumption which connected the aims of British imperial grand strategy with those of the Greek bourgeoisie.
Supervisor: Drayton, Richard Harry ; McBride, Ian Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available