IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

From Labour to National Ideals: Ending the War in Asia Minor—Controlling Communism in Greece


  • Georgios Kritikos

    () (Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 1RF, UK
    Department of Geography, Harokopio University, Eleftheriou Venizelou 70, Kallithea 176 71, Athens, Greece)


This paper will try to shed light on a very particular angle of Greek political geography after the end of the Asia Minor War. As a result of this conflict almost 1.3 million refugees fled to Greece and changed dramatically its political space. The traditional view among the scholars of the period promotes an “exceptionalism” of the Greek-Orthodox refugees who fled to Greece after 1922. It is argued that the Asia Minor workers did not largely espouse an a priori notion of class, since they had a bourgeoisie economic and social background. However, in the 1930s there was a sharp increase in the support of the Left. Accordingly, the Communist Party pulled 5.76% of the vote, which was the highest in the inter-war period. Although the percentage of the communist vote was not so high all over Greece, Communism had a real electorate appeal for urban refugees. This study will challenge the exceptionalist perspective and will investigate why the same people who voted for Liberals in the 1920s voted for Communists in the 1930s. It will also examine how the Greek political system managed to incorporate the left-wing vote by transforming the division of society from labour and political demands to national ones in the period under examination. The focus will be also on the interplay between Communism and refugees, which is undervalued by most research on the topic, even though the communist threat was used as a reason or pretext for the abolition of parliamentary democracy and the establishment of Ioannis Metaxas’ dictatorship in 1936.

Suggested Citation

  • Georgios Kritikos, 2013. "From Labour to National Ideals: Ending the War in Asia Minor—Controlling Communism in Greece," Societies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(4), pages 1-35, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsoctx:v:3:y:2013:i:4:p:348-382:d:29701

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mazower, Mark, 1991. "Greece and the Inter-War Economic Crisis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198202059, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Greece; political geography; refugees; clientilism; Liberal party; nationalism; Communism; exceptionalism; labour law;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • P - Economic Systems
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
    • P4 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsoctx:v:3:y:2013:i:4:p:348-382:d:29701. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.