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Introduction

Rhetoric and the Workings of Power—The Social Contract in Crisis

Elisabeth Kirtsoglou

As social, cultural, and political subjects, we are all constituted in power. Power is not something external to the subject, but rather a context and an idiom of subjectivity. It is creative and generative, as Foucault (1977) would argue, and also relational insofar as it is manifested in relationships (Etzioni 1993; Kritzman 1988; Wolf 1999). It has long been argued that resistance itself, as Foucault ([1976] 1990: 95) put it, “is never in a position of exteriority in relation to power” (see also Abu-Lughod 1990; Mitchell 1990; Reed-Danahay 1993; Williams 2008). In a recent article on autonomy and the French alter-globalization movement, which also builds on Donald Moore’s (1998) argument, Williams (2008: 80–81) claims that “[r]esistance … emerges not from an originary site but from oppositional practices, which … are always relational and dynamic.”

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The Poetics of Anti-Americanism in Greece

Rhetoric, Agency, and Local Meaning

Elisabeth Kirtsoglou and Dimitrios Theodossopoulos

In this article we examine the content and rationale of anti-Americanism in Greece, drawing ethnographic information from two urban centers, Patras and Volos. We pay special attention to the conspiracy theory attributes of this rhetoric, and, instead of dismissing it or seeing it primarily as a manifestation of nationalist thinking, we attempt to unpack the threads of meaning that make it so appealing in local contexts. We look in particular at the etiology of blame within this particular discourse and try to explain the specific readings of history and politics that make it significant in local contexts. We argue that Greek anti-Americanism has an empowering potential for local actors, as it provides them with a certain degree of discursive agency over wider political processes that are beyond their immediate control.