Greece is in a difficult economic crisis these days. Trying to navigate the country through the mess is sociologist and Prime Minister George Papandreou:
The Papandreous have dominated Greek politics for more than half a century. But last week, Prime Minister George Papandreou, whose father and grandfather had both been premiers before him, nearly walked away from it all…
Papandreou, a multilingual sociologist who was born in St. Paul, Minn. and educated in the United States and Great Britain, was initially seen by many as adept at handling the Europeans. A former foreign minister, he was well liked by his European peers and had an easy rapport with them. But he had a harder task with Greeks, who have never quite viewed him as one of their own.
Papandreou is a health-conscious cyclist in a nation that loves its cafes, cigarettes and greasy-spoon tavernas. He drives a Prius and loves to talk about green energy. His father, Andreas, was a fiery populist who was known for his electrifying speeches. But Papandreou is a genial, if uninspiring, speaker who does not seem to enjoy the aggressive dialogue found in Greek politics, said Stamatis, the novelist…
Papandreou is viewed as a sincere politician, even if Greeks cannot identify with him, said Christoforos Vernardakis, president of the polling firm VPRC and a political science professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
I would guess that his political heritage, the third in his family to serve as Greece’s prime minister, helped him more in getting this job than a sociology background. As a sociologist, how would Papandreou analyze or view his own privileged background and how this impacts his relationship with the citizens of Greece?
Still, I wonder how Papandreou would say sociology has helped him direct Greece and interact with foreign leaders in this high-powered position.