Sophia N. Antonopoulou
Sophia N. Antonopoulou is a Professor at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece and holds a PhD in Economics from the University College London, UK. She has published four books as well as scientific and opinion articles in numerous publications in Greece and abroad.
Sophia Antonopoulou was born in Athens, in 1947. She completed her primary education at the Tossitsion Arsakion High School of Athens, where she developed a strong interest in philosophy, reading Plato systematically. At the age of eighteen she wrote her first philosophical essays, in which she analyzed and interpreted the theory of Ideas of Plato.
Following the trend prevalent at the time, Antonopoulou studied Civil Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), where she received a strong grounding in mathematics, physics and other scientific fields. She graduated in 1971 and worked as a civil engineer in construction firms and consultants on construction offices between 1971 and 1975 . She was appointed as an Assistant at the School of Architecture, NTUA in 1976 and was granted a sabbatical to pursue postgraduate studies in Economics at the University College London, UK in 1980. She returned to Athens and resumed her duties at the NTUA in 1983, and at the same time, continuing her research on the post-war Greek economy. She was awarded her PhD by the University College London, UK in 1987.
Since 1976 she has been teaching at the School of Architecture, Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning (NTUA), originally as an Assistant (1976), a Lecturer (1989), an Assistant Professor (1993), an Associate Professor (2003), and since 2009 as a full Professor.
Research Interests and Content of Works
Antonopoulou’s research interests focus on the Greek and the International Economy, as well as on Philosophy.
When she was younger she was a Marxist. In 1989 she began to distance herself from Marxism, originally through publishing the work The Political and Economic Thought of Rosa Luxemburg. The Critique of K. Marx’s Capital (Papazissis, Athens, 1989) (in Greek), where she exposed the critique of Luxemburg to Karl Marx’s Capital, Volume I, going further to show that the ‘solution’ that Luxemburg gave to the problem of the expanded reproduction of capital was in its turn problematic. For the first time, in this work Sophia Antonopoulou exposed her view that Marx’s capital forms a theoretical economic paradigm, which in essence constitutes an analysis in which the class struggle is absent, a dimension fundamental to the capitalist economy and society. This work was published before the collapse of the Eastern Block. It influenced the Greek intelligentsia and was characterized as prophetic.
Sophia Antonopoulou developed this critique of Marx and Marxism in her book The Marxist Theory of Development and its Convergence with the Bourgeois Theoretical Paradigm (Papazissis, Athens, 1991) (in Greek), in which she criticizes the theoretical model that Marx had developed with respect to the economy, society and history, as well as Marx’s philosophical theory (Dialectical and Historical Materialism). The conclusion she arrives at is that Marxism did not fail as an alternative to the bourgeois theoretical and political paradigm, but, on the contrary, because it did not succeed in the formulation of such an alternative paradigm. She considers that Marxism, and Marx himself, constitutes a peculiar type of bourgeois thought and that it is not accidental that Marxist theory led to the creation of “state capitalism” in the former USSR.
In 1991 she published an original analysis of the post-war Greek economy and society entitled The Post War Transformation of the Greek Economy and the Settlement Phenomenon 1950-1980 (Papazisis, Athens, 1991) (in Greek) based on her PhD thesis. The work exposes and interprets the fundamental aspects of the post-war transformation of the Greek socio-economic formation, within the context of the new stage of development of the international capitalist system and the gradual emergence of a new international division of labor. The work also traces the historic specificities of the Greek socio-economic formation and argues that one of the most important aspects of this formation is the landownership regime, which constitutes a Greek historic peculiarity and which was to play a decisive role both to the economic developments of the period and the social stratification of the Greek society. The work also focus on a specific sector of the post-war Greek economy, the house-building production, which is characterized by small scale of production. The work reveals that it functioned as an economic mechanism distributing incomes to the benefit of the lower and middle strata of the population. This analysis grasps, among other things, the importance of small-scale production for the distribution of the social wealth to wider social strata.
In 2008 she published a multilateral and complex analysis of contemporary capitalism entitled Contemporary Capitalism and Globalization (Exandas, Athens, 2008) (in Greek). The work contains a brief history of capitalism from its dawn (mercantilist stage) to its monopoly stage. It then turns to analyze the present day periphery of capitalism, as well as its metropolis. As far as the latter is concerned, the work exposes the process of deindustrialization and the prevalence of services, as well as the concentration of the management and control of the world material and service production into a few centers in the advanced capitalist countries, the centers of the multinationals. The information technology is analyzed as the present day technological base of capitalism, that permits the management and control of the world capitalist system by the centers of capitalism. Neo-liberalism/monetarism is analyzed as the economic philosophy and political expression of a new epoch in the capitalist world (globalization). The work then turns to analyze the financial speculation, dominant in the Western economies today. The work also analyzes the present day international financial system, arguing that the most important part of the process of neo-liberal deregulation of the markets was the deregulation of the system in question, a condition which led to the present day financial crises. Sophia Antonopoulou also analyzes in a quite original manner the content of the new international division of labor, as well as the class transformation of the Western societies. The transformation of the nation-state within the context of globalization is also analyzed. The nation is conceived as a unity of civilization, its modern political organization being the state. Finally, small chapters are devoted to the European Union, the New Order and the movements of resistance
Her philosophical article “Enlightenment, ‘Objective’ Thought and Materialist Reductionism”, (Ίνδικτος, No 19, 2005) (in Greek) is worth mentioning. It enters into an entirely new and original critique of the Enlightenment as the ideology and the theory of knowledge upon which the emergent capitalist society was founded. In this article she presents her own theory of knowledge. Her essay, with the same title, is under publication, as well as a work entitled Plato, Hume, Kant, Three Theories of Knowledge and an Attempt at Their Transcendence (Exandas, in Greek).
Sophia Antonopoulou also writes poetry (two volumes are under publication). She paints as well. Her paintings are strongly influenced by ancient Greek art.
Her books (all in Greek) are to be found in the Library of Congress. Her book about the post-war transformation of the Greek economy (in Greek) is also found in the Library of Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, New York University, Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Sydney and in other University Libraries.
- (Greek) Η πολιτική και οικονομική σκέψη της Ρόζας Λούξεμπουργκ. Η κριτική στο "Κεφάλαιο" του Καρλ Μαρξ (The Political and Economic Thought of Rosa Luxenbourg. The Critique of K. Marx’s Capital) (Papazisis, Athens, 1989) (in Greek).
- (Greek) Ο μεταπολεμικός μετασχηματισμός της ελληνικής οικονομίας και το οικιστικό φαινόμενο, 1950-1980 (The Postwar Transformation of the Greek Economy and the Settlement Phenomenon 1950-1980) (Papazisis, Athens, 1991) (in Greek). ISBN 978-960-02-0861-0.
- (Greek) Η μαρξιστική θεώρηση της ανάπτυξης και η σύγκλιση της με το αστικό θεωρητικό πρότυπο (The Marxist Theory of “Development” and its Convergence with the Bourgeois Theoretical Paradigm) (Papazisis, Athens, 1991) (in Greek). ISBN 978-960-02-0933-4.
- (Greek) Σύγχρονος Καπιταλισμός και Παγκοσμιοποίηση (Contemporary Capitalism and Globalization) (Exandas, Athens, 2008) (in Greek) ISBN 978-960-256-667-1
- (English) "The Global Financial Crisis," The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, Vol. 5, No. 4 / Vol. 6, No. 1 (Autumn 2009 / Winter 2010).
- (English) "The process of globalisation and class transformation in the west," Democracy & Nature, Vol. 6, No. 1 (March 2000), pp. 37–54. abstract.
- (English) "What sort of social bond is instrumental global communication? A critical approach"(with Maria N. Antonopoulou) in C. Mongardini (ed) La Civiltá della comunicazione globale, Bulzoni Editore, Rome (2002).
- (English) "The economic and monetary union of Europe and the socio-spatial inequalities associated with it" in Seminars of the Aegean, Geographies of integration. Geographies of inequality in Europe after Maastricht, (proceedings), Syros (1993)
- (Italian) "I nuovi padroni della globalizzazione," Libertaria n. 4 (2000).
- (French) "Mondialisation et transformations sociales dans les pays occidentaux", Les Temps Maudits, No 10, Juin (2001).
- (Spanish) "Globalización y transformaciones sociales en Occidente" (2007)
- (Greek) «Η παγκόσμια χρηματοπιστωτική κρίση» ("The global financial crisis") Ουτοπία: επιθεώρηση Θεωρίας και Πολιτισμού, τχ. 83 (Ιανουάριος-Φεβρουάριος 2009), σελ. 31
- (Greek) «Διαφωτισμός, “αντικειμενική” σκέψη και υλιστικός αναγωγισμός», (“Enlightenment, ‘objective’ thought and materialist reductionism”), Ίνδικτος, τχ. 19, (2005).
- (Greek) «Παγκοσμιοποίηση και έθνος-κράτος» (“Globalization and the nation-state”), Άρδην, τχ 48 (2004)
- (Greek) «Η οικονομική και νομισματική ένωση της Ευρώπης στο πλαίσιο της παγκοσμιοποίησης» (“The economic and monetary union of Europe within the framework of globalization”), Ουτοπία, τχ. 51, (2002).
- (Greek) «Η παγκοσμιοποίηση της οικονομίας, ο νεοφιλελευθερισμός και η κοινωνία των 2/3» (“The globalization of the economy, neo-liberalism and the society of 2/3”), Ουτοπία, τχ. 35, (1999)
- (Greek) «To κυρίαρχο πρότυπο ανάπτυξης και η μαρξιστική απόπειρα υπέρβασής του,» Ουτοπία: επιθεώρηση Θεωρίας και Πολιτισμού, τχ. 26 (Σεπτέμβριος-Οκτώβριος 1997), σελ. 119
- (Greek) «Διχοτόμηση του Αιγαίου και ΝΑΤΟ» ("Division of the Aegean and the NATO") Άρδην, τχ 8 (1997).
- (Greek) «Οι συνέπειες της οικοδομικής παραγωγής και του καθεστώτος γαιοκτησίας στην κοινωνικο-οικονομική συγκρότηση της μεταπολεμικής Ελλάδας» (“The consequences of building production and of the regime of land ownership in the socio-economic formation of the post-war Greek economy”), στο Η Ελληνική κοινωνία κατά την πρώτη μεταπολεμική περίοδο, 1945-1967, Ίδρυμα Σάκη Καράγιωργα, Αθήνα (1994).
- (Greek) «Το χρηματιστικό κεφάλαιο επέβαλε το Μάαστριχτ» ("The financial capital imposed the Treaty of Maastricht") Οικονομικός Ταχυδρόμος (7 Απριλίου 1994).
- (Greek) «Οι συνέπειες της ΟΝΕ για την Ελλάδα» (“The consequences of the Economic and Monetary Union of Europe for Greece”), Οικονομικός Ταχυδρόμος, (27 Απριλίου 1994).
- (Greek) «Εκβιομηχάνιση, αγροτική έξοδος και το ζήτημα της στέγης στις χώρες της περιφέρειας κατά τη μεταπολεμική περίοδο» (“Industrialization, rural exodus and the issue of housing in the peripheral countries during the post-war period”), Επιθεώρηση Κοινωνικών Ερευνών, τχ 69 (1988).
- (Greek) «Ο ιδιόμορφος χαρακτήρας της παραγωγής κατοικίας στην Ελλάδα και η ερμηνεία του» (“The peculiar character of the house-building production in Greece and its interpretation”), Τεχνικά Χρονικά, τομ. 8, τχ 2 (1988).
- Staff , Department of Urban and Regional Planning, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)
- Short bio in Greek provided by Biblionet: the greek books in print (a service provided by National Book Centre of Greece)
- The relevant manuscripts and notes are as follows: The Theory of Ideas of Plato (manuscript, May 1965); Another View of The Theory of Ideas of Plato, I (manuscript, 1965); Another View of the Theory of Ideas of Plato, II (notes, 1965); Plato in Phaedro, (notes, 1964); Refutation of Plato’s Proof About the Immortality of the Soul, Based Upon the Theory of Ideas (notes, 1965); Plato’s Phaedon, Theory of Opposites (notes, October 1965); Refutation of Plato’s First Proof About the Soul (notes, October 1965); Plato’s Theory of Memory, as I Have Conceived It (manuscript, July 1966).Staff , Department of Urban and Regional Planning, School of Architecture, NTUA
- See Επιχειρήματα (Arguments) (journal) No 12, Dec. 1989; Οικονομικός Ταχυδρόμος (Economic Mailman) (weekly), No 21, May 1990; Τα Νέα (The News) (newspaper), 8 September 1990; Οικονομικός Ταχυδρόμος (Economic Mailman) (weekly), No 4, January 1991
- ":BiblioNet : Η πολιτική και οικονομική σκέψη της Ρόζας Λούξεμπουργκ". Biblionet.gr. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ": BiblioNet - the greek books in print". Gbip.gr. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ":BiblioNet : Ο μεταπολεμικός μετασχηματισμός της ελληνικής οικονομίας και το οικιστικό φαινόμενο 1950-1980". Biblionet.gr. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- ": BiblioNet - the greek books in print". Gbip.gr. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
- Review by Θεοφάνης Πάκος, "Κατανοώντας τον σύγχρονο καπιταλισμό: Οι οικονομικές εξελίξεις," Greek daily Kathimerini (5 April 2009)
- ":BiblioNet : Σύγχρονος καπιταλισμός και παγκοσμιοποίηση". Biblionet.gr. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
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