• Roxana HÎNCU PhD Candidate, Faculty of Philosophy and Social-Political Sciences, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, Bulevardul Carol I, Nr.11, 700506


referendum, two-level games model, domestic politics, negotiation


This article examines through the two-level games model the case of Greek Prime Minister’s call for a referendum on the third 2011 bailout loan. It argues that the clue to understand his decision lies primarily in domestic politics. International causes played a major part but the analysis proposed here shows that the referendum was aimed at gaining negotiation leverage at Level II negotiations. The process of identifying the reasons for Papandreou’s decision to call for a referendum on the third European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank bailout agreement is conducted within the “two-level games framework” proposed by Putnam (1988) in order to assess whether the decision is better explained by constraints on Level I or Level II negotiations. The causes for his decision are identified by evaluating various options and their consequences. This paper concludes that the primary causes were of domestic kind. The referendum aimed avoiding snap elections. In addition, it sought an improvement of public support for Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) by committing the opposition to the austerity measures (in case of Parliament “no” vote on referendum) and by giving the Greek people a chance to vote on the future of the country (in case a referendum took place). The analysis employs the case-study research method and the qualitative data type. Evidence was gathered mainly from international media reports.


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