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The transformation of solidarity in times of austerity: The case of Greece

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Andreas Feronas
Andreas Feronas


The severe economic crisis that has surfaced in Greece over the last eight years, not only has resulted to an unprecedented social crisis
but has also challenged long established domestic patterns of solidarity. By defining social solidarity very generally as “the willingness
to share social risks” this paper aims at highlighting two parallel processes of transformation of solidarity in Greece in the context
of the ongoing crisis. First, a process of retrenchment of an already problematic formal welfare state solidarity, largely imposed
by the successive bail out agreements with the Troika. Secondly, the emergence of various forms of informal solidarity, aimed at supporting
the social groups most affected by the crisis. The paper concludes that although the latter has played an important role in offering
immediate relief to those “in need”, is far from being considered, neither as a panacea for solving social problems nor as a substitute
to welfare state solidarity, at a time when the demand for social protection has increased dramatically.


Social solidarity; austerity; welfare state; civil society;Greece

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