Crisis and Civil society Civil society’s self-organisation and reform process in Greece

The objective of the research project consists in examining the contribution civil society en-gagement can perform in the reform process Greece is currently going through. Greece has not been the country most afflicted by the finance and sovereign debt crisis, but has also in the course of coming to grips with the socio-economic impacts of consolidation and austerity experienced a re-naissance of civil society engagement. For the most part beyond the confines of the traditional NGO’s activities the nascent forms of citizens’ self-organisation have not only provided ample evi-dence for the considerable amount of resilience Greek society can draw on to meet the far-reaching impacts of the consolidation course. Additionally, they have brought to the fore the question of a thorough-going change in the relations between state and society. To all appearances, the manifold initiatives, collectives and activities of civil engagement testify to the need for a renewal of the so-cial contract in Greece, because they function as a mirror-image of the unwillingness of the political system to readjust the relations between state governance and civil society interest articulation. The research project shall accordingly explore the reform potentials of civil society self-organisation both in the formal NGO and the informal (‘grass roots’) civil society sector by examining a wide spectrum of civil action ranging from networks and cooperatives in the field of social economy, ex-change networks and parallel currencies to social health centres and agricultural self-help groups.