Inside Greek Terrorism

September 2013 9781849042833 288pp


The long story of Greek terrorism was meant to have ended in the summer of 2002 with the collapse of the country’s premier terrorist organisation and one of Europe’s longest-running gangs, the notorious 17 November group (17N). However, rather than demoralising and emasculating the country’s armed struggle movement, the dismantling of 17N and the imprisonment of its members led to the emergence of new urban guerrilla groups and an upsurge in and intensification of revolutionary violence.

Given the sheer longevity of the 17N terrorist experience, George Kassimeris sets out to analyse the life histories of the group’s imprisoned members. Their stories, told through their own words, offer us a clearer picture than we have ever had of the political and ideological environment that provided the foundations upon which revolutionary terrorism took root in the mid-1970s. This book also brings up to date the gritty story of Greek terrorism, by analysing the country’s post-17N generation of urban guerrilla groups, placing their extremism and violence in a broader political and cultural perspective.


‘…indisputably the most analytic and complete work over Greek terrorism, both in English and in Greek, ever published.’ — South East European and Black Sea Studies

‘…timely and impressive….a thoughtful treatment of 17N…’ — Richard English, Terrorism and Political Violence

‘An important account of the origins and evolution of terrorism in Greece.’ — Perspectives on Terrorism

Inside Greek Terrorism … [by] George Kassimeris, probably the expert on left-wing political violence in Greece… is a very good resource on left-wing terrorism in Greece and its ideological underpinnings. It is very detailed and we learn a lot about what has been going on the country for the past decades.’ — War Studies Publications

‘No one knows more about Greek terrorism than George Kassimeris. Perfectly timed, Inside Greek Terrorism reflects the author’s personal knowledge of key figures, as well as years of careful research. With the recent resurgence of extremism in Greece, this vital book could not be more welcome to experts and general readers alike.’ — Audrey Kurth Cronin, Professor, George Mason University and author of How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns

‘This is both an important and a timely work, especially given the recent re-emergence of extremist violence in Greece. Kassimeris is without any doubt the leading analyst today on Greek violent extremism and one of the leading younger scholars in the field of terrorism and political violence.’ — Bruce Hoffman, Director of the Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service

‘The importance of the life histories of individuals and their deep ideological commitment is under-scored in this exceedingly well-informed and thoroughly researched account of terrorism in modern Greece. George Kassimeris convincingly demonstrates that explaining the perspective of the terrorist is essential to answering the question of how terrorism can develop within contemporary Western democracies.’ — Martha Crenshaw, Senior Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), Stanford University

‘A fascinating and highly readable account of Greece’s most renowned terrorist group that answers the questions we all had: who? and why? The analysis places 17N in context and admirably draws out its key themes. A number of these remain deeply disturbing, especially as they are shown to resonate in the present with a new generation of terrorists.’ — Kevin Featherstone, Eleftherios Venizelos Professor of Contemporary Greek Studies and Professor of European Politics, London School of Economics and Political Science

‘George Kassimeris is a leading academic analyst of terrorism in Greece through his earlier study of the group 17N, and now brings the story up to date. It is salutary to be reminded that the break up of 17N was not the end. Kassimeris makes good use of court testimony to construct the life stories of Greek terrorists, and their motives for joining, and in some cases leaving, their chosen groups. The book is a timely contribution to the understanding of this ugly and recurrent phenomenon.’ — Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith, Former British Ambassador to Greece

‘This concise volume takes a careful look at the evolution of Greek terrorist organisations from the mid-1970s to around 2012. … [It] is a well-researched work on an important topic [and] will be of interest to academics, experts and general readers alike.’ — Political Studies Review


George Kassimeris, Professor of Security Studies at Wolverhampton University, is the author/editor of seven books including Inside Greek TerrorismEurope’s Last Red Terrorists: The Revolutionary Organisation 17 November, The Barbarisation of Warfare and Playing Politics with Terrorism: A User’s Guide.

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