A common, if implicit, assumption in the literature of historical legacies is that these follow a consistent pattern, either remaining constant or decaying over time. We propose an alternative, non-monotone, trajec- tory, whereby exogenous shocks can re-activate the signalling capacity of local history. We apply this theory of ‘interrupted continuities’ to explain the time-varying legacy of the Greek civil-war on the vote for the radical right. We argue that in contributing to the disintegration of the settled party structure, the 2009 economic crisis allowed past trauma to escape the fringes of local memory and regain political salience. Employing a within-province, cross-village research design, we show that anti-communism rooted in the civil-war predicts radical right support after, but not before, the crisis. In showing that a trauma’s political decay is not evidence of its healing, this study underlines the need for more robust justification when researchers select the historical timepoints under scrutiny.
Prof. Elias Dinas, EUI
Mrs. Elli Palaiologou, Oxford