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Reason and Will: A Comment

Duke University School of Law
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  • Law
  • Law
  • Political Science


Reason and Will: A Comment CHRISTIE.DOC 03/27/00 8:33 PM 249 Comment REASON AND WILL: A COMMENT GEORGE C. CHRISTIE* The importance of Ioannis Tassopoulos’ theme, “reason and will”1 in the context of the Greek Constitution, cannot be overemphasized. As Tassopoulos has reminded us, the turbulent social and political history of modern Greece over the last 60 years— featuring foreign invasions during the Second World War, followed by a bitter and brutal civil war, then by a parliamentary democracy haunted by a fear of the reemergence of the communist threat, and eventually, by a repressive military dictatorship that only ended in 1974—has guaranteed that the modern constitutional history of Greece would differ greatly from that of the United States. Furthermore, the turbulence of the last 60 years did not follow a period of relative tranquillity. From the very beginning of its emergence as a modern state following the revolution of 1821, Greece has had a tumultuous political history.2 For these reasons, it is only now, when Greece has at last become a proud member of the European Community and a truly democratic republic with stable institutions, that any meaningful comparisons between Greek and American constitutional practice can be made. However, any such comparisons must still be made in light of Greece’s very distinctive history. Greece’s turbulent past explains why the constitutional protections afforded by the Greek Constitution and interpreted by the Greek courts take on such great importance in the Greek context. Moreover, in addition to these historical considerations, structural reasons explain why the inquiry into the interplay between reason and will takes on added significance in the Greek context. It is these structural reasons that I wish to discuss briefly in this comment. Copyright © 2000 by George C. Christie. * James B. Duke Professor of Law, Duke University. 1. Ioannis A. Tassopoulos, New Trends in Greek Contemporary Constitutional Theory: A Comm

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