A thorough look into the state-market divide: depoliticisation of privatisation in post-crisis Greece

Duman Ö.

JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN STUDIES, vol.30, no.3, pp.566-580, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14782804.2021.1961698
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Historical Abstracts, Humanities Abstracts, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.566-580
  • Keywords: depoliticisation, economic crisis, eurozone, Greece, privatisation, EUROZONE CRISIS, SOVEREIGN DEBT, POLITICS, AUSTERITY, GOVERNANCE, REFORM
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Privatisation is a strategic policy restructuring the relationship between the state and the market, the public and the private, and hence, the political and the economic. It opens non-capitalist spaces to capital accumulation and creates new markets for international competition. Privatisation alters a society's relationship to public goods, services and rights by commodification practices, and turns into a highly controversial reform in economic restructuring. This paper discusses how privatisation gained priority in Greece with the economic crisis. It incorporates the concept of depoliticisation to offer a new perspective on the analysis of the economic plans, programmes and documents that Greece signed with international creditors for the sake of its economic recovery. It claims that depoliticisation functioned as a strategy for putting privatisation policies onto the agenda by simply reproducing the elusive separation between the political and the economic. The paper argues that introducing extensive privatisation policies through internationally agreed-upon documents confirms the attempt to erode the political character of the process in order to (i) present such policies as a technical, economic imperative, (ii) externalise political decisions, and (iii) limit public discontent. The depoliticisation and privatisation processes reinforce each other in widening the state-market divide.