Confronting Austerity in Greece: Alternative Forms of Resilience and Solidarity Initiatives by Citizen Groups
Citizen initiatives flourished in the past several years, in response to the severe impacts of the economic crisis that affected Greece. The aim of this chapter is to offer fresh perspectives and systematic findings on such citizen solidarity initiatives in the country, both at the national and local levels. With respect to the former, the first part of the chapter offers new preliminary findings in the context of the LIVEWHAT (Living with Hard Times) project, and provides an overview of the main features of Alternative Action Organizations (AAOs), traced at the national level through a novel, hubs-based organizational website methodology. In the second part of the chapter the focus shifts from the national to the local level and empirically illustrates the social solidarity actions in Heraklion and Chania, the two largest urban centres in the island of Crete with long histories of philanthropic and solidarity organizations. The finding that an increased number of these solidarity initiatives address urgent needs related to food, housing and medicine, highlights the deep impacts of the crisis and the survival oriented resilience of the growing number of newly socio-economically marginalized groups.
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