Konstantinos Achilles Kanellopoulos

Title of thesis (working title)

A Tale of ‘Two Depressions’: Greece's Inter-War ‘Great Depression’ vs. the Modern 'Greek Odyssey' – Drawing Lessons from History Through the lens of Political Economy


Konstantinos’s doctoral research work focuses on the political economy of the Greek sovereign defaults, specifically, comparing and contrasting the country’s most recent experience (so-called ‘Greek Crisis’) with the inter-war Great Depression. His dissertation is a within-country comparative analysis, bringing together the political economy, economic history and the structural constraints of the Greek state. 

Konstantinos holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and International Economics  – with a concentration in European and Eurasian Studies – from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Philosophy (Double Major) from American University (AU). 

Professionally, Konstantinos has obtained extensive experiences in policy-making, EU institutions and think tanks, on both sides of the Atlantic (Washington D.C., Brussels and Athens). 

He is currently working on a publication – in collaboration with the Bank of Greece (BoG) – examining the role of the International Financial Commission (IFC), during Greece’s default in 1893.

Academic Supervisors

Planned submission date

September 2020.

Project overview

Although Modern Greek history is abundantly rich both in financial crises and sovereign defaults, the never-ending ‘Greek crisis’ has rarely been investigated from a longer historical perspective. As a result, what is still missing from the literature is a systematic attempt to identify parallels between Modern Greece’s previous episodes with financial crisis, debt and default, and at the same time, link them to the contemporary state of affairs. 

In this context, this doctoral project attempts to cast light on Greece's current predicament – both economically and politically – by comparatively examining the country's inter-war ‘Great Depression’ (early 1920s – mid 1930s) with the most recent crisis (post-2008). By utilising these two crises as touchstones, this ‘pilot case’ will demonstrate how endemic problems – institutional and structural deficiencies (‘chronic pathogens’) characterising the Greek state – regularly act as catalysts, deepening as well as prolonging the country's financial crisis episodes.

Konstantinos’s research focuses purely on each crisis' impact, bringing about institutional transformation and policy change and thereby, emphasises how and why continuities and changes take place in Modern Greek policymaking. Finally, it also strives to produce historically-grounded policy lessons, along with a set of preconditions for recovery, which might prove essential in order to reverse the unfavourable situation confronting Greece and its population.

Research interests

  • European Politics & Public Policy
    • Comparative European Political Economy (specifically focusing on Western & Southeast/Mediterranean countries)
    • European Integration
    • EU institutions, Democracy, Governance
    • Political Parties, Political Extremism, Populism and Euroscepticism 
  • Global Financial Crises
    • ‘Great Recession’ and European Sovereign Debt Crisis (‘Euro-Crisis’)
    • Inter-War 'Great Depression'
    • ‘Long Depression’ of the late 19th century 
  • Contemporary Greek Politics
    • Modern Greek Political Economy 
  • European External Relations
    • Comparative European Foreign Policy
    • Transatlantic Relations
      • Security & Defence (NATO)
      • Economics & Trade
    • The EU as a Global Actor 
  • Globalisation
    • The International ‘Liberal’ Order
    • Global Governance
    • The Geopolitics of Energy


Teaching experience

  • International Politics; Comparative Government and Politics – American University of Athens (2016-17).

Scholarships and awards 

  • Stavros Niarchos Scholarship– Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (2014-16)
  • Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award, Philosophy Department, American University (2016)
  • Highest Distinction for Thesis on Transatlantic Economic Relations (‘TTIP: Towards a Revitalised Transatlantic Economic Alliance’), American University, School of International Service (2014)
  • Highest Distinction for Capstone Project on John Rawls’ Euroscepticism (‘The EU & its Transformative Power: A Realistic Utopia?’), American University, Department of Philosophy & Religion, College of Arts & Sciences (2014)
  • Tomorrow 25 – Bentley University & TIME : recognised as a ‘leader of tomorrow’, based on “exemplary commitment and ability to lead”  (Class of 2010)
  • Excellence Award, Pan-Hellenic Forensics Tournament (Group Discussion & Debate), 2010
  • Grand Prize, Dean’s Essay Contest, Harvard University, Extension School, SSP (2008) 

Additional information

  • Founder and Chairman of the Forum for the Union of the Mediterranean (FORUNIMED), a non-profit NGO aiming to raise awareness on Global Climate Change, Energy Security and Global Warming, across the Mediterranean Basin
  • Volunteer-advisor to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew & the Ecumenical Patriarchate
  • Honorary representative of the Greek-American Community to the White House under the Administration of President Barack Obama 
  • Starting player of the Greek national baseball team: participated in regional and international baseball tournaments (European Championship 2010,14,16,17; International Baseball Federation World Baseball Cup 2011); captain, Leaders Vouliagmenis Baseball Club (since 2007)
  • Honorary member of the following organisations: Concordia; American – Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Europe; Transatlantic Policy Network (TPN); Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA); Club of Rome; Greek Association for Atlantic & European Cooperation (GAEEC); American Hellenic Institute (AHI); Hellenic-American Leadership Council (HALC); American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA); Oxi Day Foundation; World Union of Olympic Cities  (UWOC)

Contact details

Email: Konstantinos.Kanellopoulos@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk