, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 320–348 | Cite as

The emergence of political subjectivity in ‘a-political’ terrains: conscientious objection to the military service in pre-crisis Greece

  • Yiannis Mylonas
Original Article


The purpose of this study is threefold: (a) to present an analysis of a moment of what scholars framed as ‘particularist political struggles’, developed in the socio-political context of a given liberal–democratic country. The particularist political struggle examined concerns the negation of the compulsory – to all male citizens-military service of Greece; (b) to highlight local political struggles in their complexity, which are largely unknown and buried by hegemonic, transnational, ‘culturalist’ narratives that caricaturized the particular country and its people; (c) to discuss the possibilities and the difficulties for the emergence of political subjectivities in societies where apolitical, individualistic social identities prevail. The focus on the particular instance of socio-political struggle emphasizes the importance of spatio-temporal context. The analysis deploys the concept of bio-politics, in both Foucault's and Ranciere's terms: in the form of punitive and disciplinary strategies imposed by institutional apparatuses, and in the form of the emergence of an emancipatory subjectivity. The article concludes that fidelity to values and to subjective contexts, counter-hegemonic articulation and solidarity networks are key for the creation of political events, political struggles and counter-hegemonic subjectivities today, as ever.


discourse politics rupture event military Greece 



The author wishes to thank Dr David Witman, Professor Athanasios Marvakis and Stavros Psaros for their help in this study.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yiannis Mylonas
    • 1
  1. 1.Lund UniversityLundSweden

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