Ioannis Brigkos



Ioannis Brigkos is a PhD candidate at the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies of the University of Vienna. On his ongoing research for his dissertation, he is focusing on the nature of diplomatic and political relations between Greece, during the period of the military dictatorship (1967-1974) on the one side, and Austria and the German Democratic Republic on the other, fitting the pattern of “pericentrism” and through the lens of the New Diplomatic History. He is a recipient of the ATHEN-fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, a doctoral fellowship from the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, and a fellowship from the Tsiter-Kontopoulou endowment of the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Vienna for research in Greek Archives and libraries.

Research interests: His main research interests include the analysis of the 20th century Greek history and its interrelation with the overall European historical background, covering aspects of military and diplomatic nature. 

Current research project: „Subtle Diplomacy in the Cold War: Greece’s relations with Austria and the German Democratic Republic during the Colonels’ Regime, 1967-1974“
At a time when the global Cold War was still raging — although a détente phase had slowly begun to take shape, Greece was trying to position itself as an equal partner of the democratic countries of the Western world. Certainly, the Junta’s ascension to power did not cause a total rupture on the foreign relations’ level, but it did spark a major international public outcry, while it also casted an initial diplomatic shadow between the international political sphere and the new regime, but in the end most of the foreign governments, one after another, began from late 1967 to adopt a pragmatic attitude, and in some cases even a rather positive stance towards the military regime of Athens, thus choosing the path of realpolitik. Undoubtedly though, what has been partly or — in some cases — almost completely neglected is the study of the Colonels’ Greece vis-à-vis neutral countries and the allies of the Soviet Union. Towards a better understanding of this latter topic, this thesis proposes a study of Greece’s diplomatic relations with Austria, on the one hand, and the German Democratic Republic on the other. These two case studies regarding their interstate relations with Greece, seen through a comparative perspective and through the lens of “pericentrism” and the New Diplomatic History, can shed new light both on the function of the Colonels’ regime as regards its attempt to establish itself domestically and internationally. This study will also put forward an evaluation of the historical interplay between three dissimilar foreign policy-making mechanisms, within the Cold War era. Thus, even all three regimes were different in their political structure, belonged to separate military pacts or abstained from them, and had adopted divergent modes of governance, it will be demonstrated that — after all — both Austria and the GDR for different reasons decided upon continuing interstate communication with the Greek military regime similar to the attitude of other states, as a need to draw an active foreign policy within the Cold War era.