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“Liberalism and the Foundations of the Modern Greek State (ca 1830-1880)” Lecture by Michalis Sotiropoulos

March 16 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Royce Hall, 314, UCLA + Google Map

Liberalism and the Intellectual Foundations of the Modern Greek State (ca 1830-1880)

Lecture by Michalis Sotiropoulos, The 1821 Fellow in Modern Greek Studies, British School at Athens 

Saturday, March 16, 2024
4:00 p.m.
314 Royce Hall, UCLA
Reception to follow

This event is free to attend but advance RSVP is requested.
RSVP link:

Introductory remarks by The Honorable Christina Valassopoulou, Consul General of Greece in Los Angeles.

Q&A moderated by Simos Zenios, Associate Director, UCLA SNF Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture 

The lecture will be recorded, after the event, you will be able to find the recording on our YouTube channel here.

The Greek state was a direct outcome of the Greek Revolution of 1821-30. During the revolution itself, several attempts were made to give the state a political form, with the Kapodistrias administration (1828-31) probably being the most consistent of them. After the assassination of Kapodistrias in 1831 and the anarchy that ensued, the Great powers intervened and agreed to make the 17-year-old Prince Otto of Bavaria the monarch of Greece. The modern Greek monarchical state, initially in effect absolutist, was reshaped by two moments of revolt: 1843, king Otto was forced to grant a constitution sanctioning a national parliament; and 1862, when he was forced to abdicate, opening the way for a new constitutional process, the election of a new king, and the promulgation of a new, remarkably liberal constitution. Although both these processes were instrumental for the formation of the early Greek state, they have received surprising little attention from historians. This lecture seeks to fill this gap and offer an interpretation of these political transformations and in particular of the ousting of King Otto. It argues that a significant factor in the criticisms against the Bavarian monarchy was a liberal ideology that was gradually formulated by a group of legal scholars – at times university professors, lawyers, jurists, members of legislative committees, politicians, ministers etc. By focusing on the thought and public action of these jurists – figures such as Pavlos Kalligas, Nikolaos Saripolos, Ioannis Soutsos, Ioannis Rallis, to name but a few – this lecture has three aims: to shed new light on how and why these transformations came about;  to assess the liberal language that informed them; and to assess the short-term and long-term significance of these transformations for the history of modern Greece.

Michalis Sotiropoulos, FRHistS, is a historian of modern Europe specializing in the intellectual history of the Mediterranean and the Greek world in the long nineteenth century. Sotiropoulos has earned a PhD from the University of London and is currently the 1821 Fellow in Modern Greek Studies at the British School at Athens and principal investigator of the SNF-funded research project ‘Unpublished Archives of British Philhellenism during the Greek Revolution, 1821-1832’. His publications include studies of the Greek Revolution of 1821, on law and the formation of states, and on the historiography on the Age of Revolutions, while his monograph
Liberalism after the Revolution: The Intellectual Foundations of the Greek State, ca. 1830-1880 was recently published by Cambridge University Press. In October 2024 Michalis will be joining the University of Edinburgh as a Lecturer in Modern Greek Studies.

This event is held under the auspices of the Consulate General of Greece in Los Angeles and made possible thanks to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

Gefyra (Bridge) is a collaborative program established by the UCLA SNF Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture and the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). Gefyra’s mission is to connect students, faculty, and communities along the West Coast of North America with Greek scholars, artists, and other creators, so that they can together explore expansive and imaginative approaches to Greek culture and knowledge production. The program additionally supports academic conferences and cultural projects that bridge the West Coast and Greece.

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Parking Information:

Parking for Royce Hall is available in Parking Structure 4.

Parking Structure 4 is located at: 221 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095. Parking Structure 4 is accessible from Sunset Blvd. onto Westwood Plaza which leads directly to the underground parking structure. To view the walking map from Parking Structure 4 to Royce Hall, click here.

No parking attendants will be on-site at the parking structure, and Pay-By-Space/Visitor Parking is extremely limited in this lot, so we highly encourage you to purchase a parking permit in advance:

Advance parking is available for Parking Structure 4. Parking Structure 4 is located at 221 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

  • To save time, you may purchase your parking permit for Parking Structure 4 for $15 in advance using Bruin ePermit: https://bruinepermit.t2hosted.com/pnw2/selectevent.aspx. Select “UCLA Royce Hall,” then “Sotiropoulos Lecture” With the advanced parking permit, you can park anywhere in Parking Structure 4 EXCEPT in the Pay-by-Space section. For instructions on how to use this portal, please click here.
  • To purchase a permit when you arrive at Parking Structure 4, please park ONLY in the Pay-By-Space/Visitor Parking area, and proceed to the Self-Service Pay Station machine to pay by credit card.
  • Guest drop/Ride-share drop off is closest at the turnaround at the front of Royce Hall located at: 10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles, CA 90095.
  • Accessible parking: For individuals with accessibility needs, parking lot 4 is outfitted with ADA accessibility amenities, such as multiple elevators on all floors. The elevators in Lot 4 provide access to Wilson Plaza, with sidewalk access available. Upon reaching Janss Steps, turn left towards the Anderson School of Business and Fowler Museum. Proceed past the Fowler Museum before you enter Anderson School of Business; take a right to access the elevator leading to Royce Hall. Please visit our Campus Accessibility Map to view related information.
  • To view the ADA map from Parking Structure 4 to Royce Hall, click here.

For inquiries, please contact hellenic@humnet.ucla.edu


March 16
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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Gefyra, a partnership between UCLA SNF Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture & SFU Centre for Hellenic Studies


Royce Hall, 314
UCLA + Google Map