- Αντώνης Λιάκος, Εργασία και πολιτική στην Ελλάδα του μεσοπολέμου: Το Διεθνές Γραφείο Εργασίας και η ανάδυση των κοινωνικών θεσμών (review)
- Journal of Modern Greek Studies
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 13, Number 2, October 1995
- pp. 368-370
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368 Reviews world poetry through the exquisite care of Edmund Keeley and the late Philip Sherrard, who have coaxed into English the very voice itself, a most unique and haunting voice in twentieth-century poetry. John Chioles New York University Antonis Liakos. Î‘Î½Ï„ÏŽÎ½Î·Ï‚ Î›Î¹Î¬ÎºÎ¿Ï‚, Î•Ï•Î³Î±ÏƒÎ¯Î± ÎºÎ±Î¹ Ï€Î¿Î»Î¹Ï„Î¹ÎºÎ® ÏƒÏ„Î·Î½ Î•Î»Î»Î¬Î´Î± Ï„Î¿Ï… Î¼ÎµÏƒÎ¿Ï€Î¿Î»Î-Î¼Î¿Ï…: To Î”Î¹ÎµÎ¸Î½Î-Ï‚ Î“Ï•Î±Ï†ÎµÎ¯Î¿ Î•Ï•Î³Î±ÏƒÎ¯Î±Ï‚ ÎºÎ±Î¹ Î· Î±Î½Î¬Î´Ï…ÏƒÎ· Ï„Ï‰Î½ ÎºÎ¿Î¹Î½Ï‰Î½Î¹ÎºÏŽÎ½ Î¸ÎµÏƒÎ¼ÏŽÎ½. Athens: 'Idhrima 'Erevnas ke PedhÃ-as tis EmborikÃ-s TrÃ¡pezas tis EllÃ¡dos. 1993. Pp. 624. The welfare state in Western Europe has become a topic of great scholarly interest recently (see, for example, Mavrikos's essay in this issue oÃ-JMGS). In the wake of the ascendancy of neo-conservatism in the 1980s, the demise of the Eastern bloc, and the hostile fiscal climate of the 1990s, the future of the welfare state and the role of government in delineating social policy have been called into question. As often happens, contemporary discourse raises historical questions concerning how the current situation came to be. A spate of monographs, books, and edited collections of essays on the development of social welfare systems has appeared over the last few years. Noticeably absent, however, from this burgeoning body of literature has been work devoted to the case of Greece. This situation has been more than satisfactorily remedied by the appearance of Antonis Liakos's monumental tome. He has produced a first-rate study that combines a wide reading of comparative work in labor history, social history, economic history, and sociology with a detailed examination of hitherto underutilized primary sources, especially documents from the archives of the International Labor Office (ILOÂ—in Greek the Î”Î“Î•). This is an important book and one that deserves a wide readership. Liakos's aim is to examine the development of a social policy in Greece during the interwar period. This was a time of acute challenges and potential opportunities for Greece. The influx of the refugees from Asia Minor, the political chaos of the 1920s, and the economic dilemmas posed by them defined and shaped the context in which social policy developed. But Liakos goes beyond the stricdy structural to consider ideological developments as well. "Social policy is confronted, in other words, as a multidimensional phenomenon with very strong intellectual connections to a variety of ideological currents" (20). In order to probe these issues further, he focuses on the relationship between Greece and the ILO/Î”Î“Î•. The International Labor Organization (ILOÂ—in Greek the Î”0Î•), of which the ILO/Î”Î“Î• was a part, was established on 28 June 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles for the purpose of improving labor conditions and living standards among the world's workers. A special relationship developed between the ILO/Î”Î“Î• and Greece. Through an examination of this relationship, Liakos illuminates not only how social policy developed in Reviews 369 Greece but also how international organizations like die ILO functioned in the charged sociopolitical climate of the post-World War I era. The book is divided into four sections. Part One examines the internal economic and social context and the development of the labor movement in Greece. Chapter 1 of tins section focuses on the refugee problem. While not presenting any new interpretations, this section does provide a concise summary of the social and economic challenges posed by the influx of the destitute immigrants. The latter sections of this chapter, however, are superb. Utilizing the concept of a "cultural division of labor," Liakos describes the process of class formation in Greece. The sections entitled "A Social Category Without Name" and "The Labor Movement and the Working Class" brilliandy incorporate comparative material in order to illuminate die Greek case. The second infrastructural chapter in Part One examines the trade union movement from its inception up to the 1930s, including the relationship between it and the dominant political parties at the time. Part Two broadens the analysis to incorporate the international context. Chapter 1 examines the birth and development of the ILO, situating it in both its immediate historical context and in a longer-term context of the history of socialist thought. In a subsequent chapter Greece's participation in the founding conference is examined. Through a judicious use of the memoranda and correspondence, Liakos describes the debates out of which the ILO arose. The central figure in this story is Albert Thomas, and...