This clear, balanced account explores the dilemma of Greece, the fount of European civilization. Despite its classical past and EU membership, Greece has been unable to escape the limbo of being "nearly developed." Illuminating the impact of borrowed "western" institutions on Greece's traditional culture, Keith Legg and John Roberts analyze the paralyzing consequences: a political process dependent on personal relations and a civil society dominated by a highly centralized bureaucracy. State dominance, the authors argue, has turned politics primarily into a struggle for office. This emphasis on political conflict has allowed politicians and their supporters to employ emotional nationalist rhetoric to flout democratic rules and to avoid genuine issues. Concluding that the Greek political system precludes real reform, Legg and Roberts show how EU opportunities for both economic and political reform have been largely lost. Unfortunately, the aspects of Greece's "nearly developed" status are mirrored in eastern European states with similar pasts. Indeed, the authors warn that the Greece of today may be the future of many of its neighbors.