Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Widely regarded as the first bourgeois Prime Minister of Greece, Eleutherios Venizelos, during his first tenure of office as Prime Minister in 1910-1912, is considered by many to have laid the foundations for the bourgeois modernisation of Greece. The parliamentary work conducted during this period has been highly praised, even by his adversaries and critics. This era is usually referred to as anorthosis (recovery) in the historiography of the period, and it is a common belief that because of anorthosis Greece experienced an unprecedented period of good governance and administration. However, except in the field of foreign policy, no substantial detailed research has been conducted into the political narrative of this crucial period in the transformation of Greece as a country.

This thesis examines one critical part of Venizelos’ public policy programme, namely the public law legislation that provided the backbone of anorthosis. The aim of the thesis is to consider whether this wide-ranging legislative programme of reform provided the foundations for the country’s bourgeois modernisation. The research for the thesis analyses the intentions, content, and effects of the new laws dealing mainly with the amendment of the Constitution, the municipalities’ law reform and the so-called fiscal reform. A testimony to the quality and durable nature of this raft of reforming public legislation lies in the fact that many articles of the Constitution as then established are still standing and the municipality’s law introduced remained in force until 1997.

The thesis also analyses the extent of Venizelos’ personal contribution to the formulation and passage of the public law legislation, particularly in the context of the inter-related political issues of day and his working relationships with the Opposition and with the Crown. Though anorthosis was not a one-man-show but the result of venizelism (Venizelos’ party ideology), the research undertaken for this thesis indicates that Venizelos was by far the most important and influential figure. The analysis reveals the nature and extent of his contribution to the reforming programme of public legislation, and includes a detailed study of his parliamentary speeches (as recorded in the Gazette of the Parliament’s Debates), and of contemporary press reports and the writings and speeches of other politicians of the day.
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorRobert Blackburn (Supervisor), Philip Carabott (Supervisor), Jane Henderson (Supervisor), David Ricks (Supervisor) & Cian Murphy (Supervisor)

Cite this