Organised civil society in Greece is generally regarded as weak with rankings for associational density, volunteerism and levels of social capital traditionally among the lowest in Europe. Austerity and the Third Sector in Greece explores the context behind the statistics and general perceptions of a society of takers, not givers. Stereotypes of a country living beyond its means have been exacerbated by the Eurozone crisis but, since 2008, there has in fact been a great proliferation of organised civil society initiatives in the country. Has the financial crisis seen a belated awakening of Greek civil society? Offering a broad overview of contemporary civil society in Greece this book explores how various characteristics of the country's socio-political context have affected the development of the third sector and examines the effect of the economic crisis on it. Expert contributors combine macro-level analyses with local case studies to form a fascinating new study on the influences of national and regional context on civil society development. Their findings provide not only for a better understanding of similar movements, but also contribute to wider academic debates on societal responses to economic crises.
Jennifer Clarke is Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Political Science and International Relations, at the University of the Peloponnese, and Capacity Building Programme Coordinator at the Bodossaki Foundation, Athens. Asteris Huliaras is Professor in Comparative Politics and International Relations in the Department of Political Science and International Relations of the University of the Peloponnese. Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration of the University of Athens.
’This book is an interesting and well developed consideration of an aspect of the Greek crisis that has been little studied, civil society, the voluntary sector, and NGO development, with some valuable local case studies.’ James Pettifer, Oxford University, UK ’This is a timely, often very insightful, and highly accessible profile of civil society in Greece's prolonged crisis era. The main contours of civil society are traced, and the impact of the economic crisis on a broad range of sectors is provided. This is an indispensable tool for understanding the impact of the Eurozone crisis on a string of north Mediterranean countries reeling from its effects.’ Tom Gallagher, University of Bradford, UK