Greek Civil Society’s Online Alternative Networks as Emergent Resilience Strategies in Time of Crisis

Open access

Abstract

The use of new communications technologies and social media, in Greece, during the time of crisis, has led to the development of numerous online informal Civil Society Networks (CSNs) (i.e. networking-building platforms, self - organized groups in Facebook, forums, exchange platforms) proposing a rethinking of the status quo of formal civil organizations. This research, utilizing the methodology of discourse analysis, aims at summarizing the rise of these networks in Greece that incorporates both solidarity initiatives and autonomous political/economic spaces and identify the indicative predictive factors of their survival and growth. Some basic conclusions that have been drawn through this research is that alternative online networks can be proven as indicative sign of the social dynamism of a given period but in order to be resilient and sustainable they should develop focal points of physical reference, pursue national representation, focus mainly on monothematic goods/services and cultivate, in several cases, links with relevant social movements and local or national NGOs. A general induction through this research is that a CSN, during this current crisis, stands between two classical models of reference in a society seeking modernity and flexibility and can be considered as a proposed type of effective experimentation and mobilization that can pursue common social goals and serve needs of deprived people. Some issues that still remain underexplored and need further elaboration are social and political identity of participants, the potential links with local, national and international communities, the functional balance between structure and flexibility as well as the efficient distribution of energy between solidarity and protest.

References

  • AFOUXENIDIS, A. (2015). Civil society in times of Crisis (in Greek) in N. Demertzis, N. Georgarakis, N. (eds.) The political portrait of Greece: Crisis and degradation of Politics, Athens: Gutenberg (pp. 317-336).

  • ALTER, N. (2002), Les logiques d’innovation, Paris, La Découverte.

  • ALTER, N. (2003), Régulation sociale et déficit de régulation, G. de Terssac, La théorie de la régulation sociale de Jean-Daniel Reynaud, Paris, La Découverte, p. 77-88.

  • ALTER, N. (2009), Donner et prendre, la coopération en entreprise, Paris, La Découverte.

  • BOURIKOS, D. (2013). Social Solidarity in Greece in times of crisis: New wave of emergence of civil society or consolidation of fragmented social citizenship?, (in greek), ELIAMEP: Crisis Observatory, Athens.

  • DAY, R. (2005). Gramsci is dead: Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements, London: Pluto Press.

  • FABBES - COSTES N. (2005). La gestion dynamique des supply chains des entreprises virtuelles. Revue Française de Gestion, 31, 156, p. 151-166.

  • FIORAMONTI L., KONONYKHINA O. (2015), Measuring the Enabling Environment of Civil Society: A Global Capability Index, Voluntas, 26(2), pp. 466-487

  • FRAGONIKOLOPOULOS, C. (2014). Politics, the Media and NGOs: The Greek experience, Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 15(4), pp. 606-619.

  • FUCHS, C. (2014) Social Media: A Critical Introduction. London: Sage.

  • HOMER – DIXON T. (2001), The Ingenuity Gap, Toronto, Vintage Canada.

  • HULIARAS A. (2015), Greek Civil Society in Times of Crisis: The Neglected Causes of Weakness in J. Clarke, A. HULIARAS, D. SOTIROPOULOS (eds.), Austerity and the Third Sector in Greece: Civil Society at the European Frontline, London: Ashgate (pp. 9-28).

  • IOSIFIDIS P. (2011). The Public Sphere, Social Networks and Public Service Media’ Information, Communication & Society. 14(5): 619-37.

  • KANTZARA V. (2014), Solidarity in times of Crisis: Emergent Practices and Potential for Paradigmatic Change. Notes from Greece, Studi di Sociologia, 3, pp. 261-280.

  • KOHN M. (2002). Panacea or Privilege? New Approaches to Democracy and Association, Political Theory, 30(2), pp. 289-298.

  • LIVIAN Y.F. (1998). Organisation, Théories et pratiques, Paris: Dunod.

  • LOUKIDOU K. (2013),”Formal and informal civil society associations in Greece: two sides of the same coin?”-Paper for the 6th Hellenic Observatory PhD Symposium on Contemporary Greece and Cyprus, Hellenic Observatory, European Institute, LSE, 6-7 June 2013

  • NADKARNI, A., HOFMANN S.G. (2012). Why do people use Facebook? Personality and Individual Differences, 52(3):243-249.

  • OIKONOMOU C., KAITELIDOU D., KATSIKAS D., SISKOU O., ZAFIROPOULOU M. (2014). Impacts of the economic crisis on access to healthcare services in Greece with a focus on the vulnerable groups of the population, Social Cohesion and Development, 9(2), 99-115.

  • PETROPOULOU, C. (2013). Alternative Networks of Collectivities’ and ‘Solidarity Cooperative Economy’ in Greek cities: Exploring their theoretical origins, Journal of Regional Socio-Economic Issues, 3(2), pp. 61-85.

  • PICARD R.G. (2014). Panel I: The Future of the Political Economy of Press Freedom, Communication Law and Policy, 19(1): 97-107.

  • SIMITI M. (2015). Social Need’ or ‘Choice’? Greek Civil Society during the Economic Crisis, Discussion Paper no. 95, Hellenic Observatory, European Institute, LSE.

  • SOTIROPOULOS D, BOURIKOS D. (2014), Economic Crisis, Social Solidarity and the Voluntary Sector in Greece, Journal of Power, Politics and Governance, 2(2), pp. 33-53.

  • SOTIROPOULOS D. (2004), Formal Weakness and Informal Strength: Civil Society in Contemporary Greece, Discussion Paper no. 16, Hellenic Observatory, European Institute, LSE.

  • SOTIROPOULOS D. (2014), Civil Society in Greece in the Wake of the Economic Crisis, Research Paper, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung & ELIAMEP, Athens.

  • THEODOSSOPOULOS, D. (2014). The Ambivalence of Anti-Austerity Indignation in Greece: Resistance, Hegemony and Complicity. History and Anthropology, 25(4), 488-506.

  • ZAFIROPOULOU M. (2014). Exclusion from Healthcare Services and the Emergence of New Stakeholders and Vulnerable Groups in Times of Economic Crisis: A Civil Society’s Perspective in Greece. Social Change Review, Winter 2014, vol 12 (2) 2): 141-160.

  • ZAFIROPOULOU M. (2015). Theoretical “Regulation-Proximity” model “, Deliverable R-2015-10, project Fragmex, November 2015, Hellenic Open University.

Journal Information

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 18 18 18
PDF Downloads 1 1 1