Using orig­i­nal data from the Voic­es on Val­ues  sur­vey, this report sheds light on Greeks’ atti­tudes to an open soci­ety. After a decade of eco­nom­ic hard­ship and relat­ed polit­i­cal uncer­tain­ties, Greeks rate open soci­ety val­ues high­ly, par­tic­u­lar­ly those asso­ci­at­ed with polit­i­cal rights and free­doms, but also those linked with minor­i­ty rights and cul­tur­al heterogeneity.

In fact, many Greeks demon­strate a deeply entrenched com­mit­ment to open soci­ety val­ues relat­ing to polit­i­cal rights and free­dom and pri­ori­tise them over oth­er eco­nom­ic, polit­i­cal, and social con­cerns. Nev­er­the­less, some of them are will­ing to trade off those open soci­ety val­ues for alter­na­tive con­cerns, such as eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal sta­bil­i­ty. Over­com­ing eco­nom­ic prob­lems will there­fore be impor­tant if open soci­ety val­ues are to be fur­ther strength­ened in Greece.

Some Greeks reveal that their sup­port for minor­i­ty rights fal­ters if it pos­es a chal­lenge to their own cul­tur­al char­ac­ter­is­tics and way of life. This ambiva­lence in the cul­tur­al domain is also reflect­ed indi­rect­ly in the char­ac­ter­is­tics Greeks con­sid­er essen­tial for some­one to be con­sid­ered Greek. Accord­ing to the major­i­ty, the most impor­tant of these is the adop­tion of Greek cus­toms and way of life, while a sub­stan­tial minor­i­ty also con­sid­ers eth­nic- as well as civic-based char­ac­ter­is­tics essen­tial for some­one to be seen as Greek. Pol­i­cy­mak­ers who want to strength­en open soci­ety val­ues should clar­i­fy that the expres­sion of minor­i­ty cul­ture does not stop the major­i­ty from pur­su­ing their own way of life.


About the author: Effrosyni Char­i­topoulou is cur­rent­ly pur­su­ing a doc­tor­al degree in Soci­ol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford. She holds an MSc in Soci­ol­o­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford and an MA in Eco­nom­ics and Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions from the Uni­ver­si­ty of St Andrews. Her research inter­ests lie in the field of polit­i­cal soci­ol­o­gy and specif­i­cal­ly on issues sur­round­ing proso­cial behav­iour, atti­tudes towards migra­tion and far-right vot­ing. She has served as an A. S. Onas­sis scholar.