Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Global and Sociocultural Studies

First Advisor's Name

Sarah J. Mahler

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Roderick Neumann

Third Advisor's Name

Alex Stepick

Fourth Advisor's Name

Rebecca Friedman

Fifth Advisor's Name

Anna Triandafyllidou


Nationalism, Ethnicity, Immigration, Identity, Citizenship, Greece

Date of Defense



A source of emigration until the early 1970s, Greece has become home to a rising tide of immigrants since 1991, and its foreign-born population rose from below one to over 11 percent. Equally important is the fact that the Greek state has historically premised national belonging on ethnicity, and striven to exclude people who did not exhibit Greek ethnic traits. My study examines how immigration has challenged this nationalist model of ethnically homogeneous belonging. Further, it uses the Greek case to problematize the hegemonic assumption that the nationalist model of social organization is a human universal. Data consist of reactions to a 2010 landmark law that constituted the first jus soli bill in the nation’s history, and include a plurality of voices found in parliamentary proceedings, newspapers, a government-sponsored online forum and Facebook discussions. Voices examined correspond to three main conceptual camps: people who premise belonging on ethnicity and hegemonic definitions of what it means to be Greek, people who mitigate nationalist norms enough to include immigrants, but reproduce a nationalist worldview, and people who seek to divorce political belonging from ethnicity altogether.





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