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The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Transforming World Politics: Between Isomorphism and Path Dependence

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Summary This article explores the contemporary organization and functions of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the ways in which it responds to the transforming world politics. In contemporary foreign policy management discourse, the study of the foreign ministry — its organization, role, functions and position within national foreign policy and diplomatic systems — constitutes a central theme. This is because patterns of change within its structure, processes and operation can provide significant evidence regarding the state’s responses to systemic change, as well as its fundamental assumptions about world politics. There is no uniformity of opinion in the literature regarding foreign ministries’ responses to the changing policy milieus. On the one hand there are observations and arguments that view the foreign ministry as adaptive and retaining its centrality in national foreign policy systems, while on the other hand there are suggestions that the transforming world politics have diminished its significance, leading to its decline. Evidence gathered through a series of interviews with Greek diplomats indicates no discernible trend towards a decline of the Greek MFA. The data rather demonstrate that this Greek diplomatic institution, similar to other European foreign ministries, is in a process of adapt-ing to its contemporary operational environment, but that this process is slow because of its organizational culture.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Politics, History and International Relations, Loughborough University Leicestershire, LE11 3TU United Kingdom E.Georgiadou@lboro.ac.uk

10.1163/1871191X-12341249
/content/journals/10.1163/1871191x-12341249
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/content/journals/10.1163/1871191x-12341249
2013-01-01
2016-12-10

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