Session 1: Theoretical and political issues surrounding risk, security policies and disasters
1. Public perception of surveillance-oriented security technologies in Europe: A cross-cultural comparative analysis
Elvira Santiago, IPP-CSIC, Spain
Sara Degli Esposti, The Open University, UK
Vincenzo Pavone IPP-CSIC, Spain
European security agencies nowadays widely rely on information technology systems enabling ubiquitous and blanket surveillance of mass communications and activities. Technologies such as Smart CCTV, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), or Smartphone Location Tracking are meant to prevent criminal activity through constant monitoring of key physical locations, the Internet or national mobile networks. Although the success of current risk management strategies increasingly depends on digital surveillance’s pre-emptive capacity, which in turn depends on public acquiescence and support, little is known about how the lay public perceive and interpret the use of surveillance-oriented security technologies (SOSTs). By drawing from science and technology studies, privacy studies, and risk analysis literature, this article analyses potential factors influencing SOSTs’ acceptability. Data were collected as part of the SurPRISE project, funded under the 7th Framework Programme. Between January and March 2014, the SurPRISE consortium organised public consultations in nine European countries. During these citizen summits about 200 participants per country had the chance of learning about specific SOSTs, share their opinions with fellow participants and express their judgements through a voting system. The article presents a comparative analysis of data collected during the summits held in Spain and United Kingdom. By means of quantitative and qualitative analysis, the study highlights individual and cultural elements accounting for differences in the extent to which people find acceptable to use surveillance technologies to foster security.
2. Personification of the pandemic threat 2009 in Norwegian and Danish media 2009
Nina Blom Andersen
Roskilde University Denmark
In this presentation it is argued that authorities do have an impact on the ways media represent potential threats in cases of severe incidents and emergence situations, though the main aim of the presentation is to show some of the more subtle ways in which the media coverage contributes to the authorities assessments.
The analysis is concerned with the ways in which the threat of the pandemic flu in 2009 was dealt with very differently in the two neighbouring countries Norway and Denmark. The Norwegian authorities and media did represent the threat of the pandemic as much more severe than was done in Denmark. One of the results of the difference in construction of the threat by the flu was a predominant acceptance of the vaccine Pandemrix within the Norwegian population as the concurrent situation in Denmark was that very few people accepted the vaccine.
With references to previous studies carried out in the two countries, in order to understand the strategies of the national health authorities, this study is a qualitative in-depth analysis of a few newspaper articles with the aim of investigating the personification of two different groups of actors represented in the media coverage: Heads of the national authorities as capable and responsible leaders and citizens as potential victims of the flu.
It will be argued that in-depth analyses of media texts can provide an insight into media agenda setting of threats in times of a pandemic.
3. Disasters as a pretext for social control: The case of L’Aquila (Italy)
Gian Maria Valent
University of Padua, Italy
Objective of this paper, inserted in my PhD. Research, is to clarify policies of power in the crisis management, particularly in which mode institutional and economic players uses the “blank slate” created by emergencies following natural disasters (as flood, hurricanes, earthquakes and similar) to design a city more suitable for companies, private capitals, upper classes etcetera, beginning from a situation of suspended rules, with a fragmented urban tissue and with citizens under a strong shock which are partially or totally unable to react and take initiatives and decision about their lives. This goal can be pursued through the forced displacement of inhabitants of lower classes, in some cases their confinement in enclosed fields under the authority of state / federal agencies, the dispossession of their housing and property, the discouragement of their coming back after the emergency, and others methods.
The paper deals with the case of the Italian town of L’Aquila after the 2009 earthquake, through an approach combining the analysis of spatial and demographic data (using G.I.S.) with the study of decision-making processes, the consequences at short, medium and long term on the displaced citizens, the evolution of the settlement and the urban tissue, including a comparison with the literature dealing with similar politics deployed in the aftermath of the hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
The theoretical frame is based on the Critical Urban Theory, particularly on the study of Neil Smith about gentrification, the idea of “Right to the city” developed by Lefebvre and updated by David Harvey, the Foucault’s theory of power and surveillance and the concept of “Permanent State of Exception” proposed by Giorgio Agamben.
4. Disasters: Risk, health and social movements
Aikaterini A. Aspradaki, University of Crete, Greece
Maria Kousis, University of Crete, Greece
Research on risk has grown into an interdisciplinary field since the last three decades of the past twentieth century. Rapid developments in science and technology raise ethical and policy issues in dealing with “uncertainty” at national, international and global levels. Since the mid-1990s, health and safety, two traditionally separate areas, have been unified by scandals and crises in an emergence of a wider conception of risk. Regarding risk and health, within a discourse of challenging medicine and science, improving democratic participation in social policy and regulation and informing health policy decisions in contemporary societies, a growing public ethical demand has been made for decision-makers, scientific and other experts, and the various stakeholders to be accountable and their judgments to be publicly transparent. Focusing on natural and technological disasters, this paper explores risk in interrelation to health in a bioethics and social movement oriented discussion. The discussion uses the case of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster due to the earthquake and tsunami which occurred on 11 March 2011. Although notable the debates, protests and policy changes have received rather limited and more recent attention in the fields of bioethics and sociology.
Session 2: Environmental hazards, Conflicts and social movements
1. Terminal crisis and social collapse: an evaluation of the combination of possible triggers (peak oil, global warming, wrong policy responses)
Pedro A. García Bilbao
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain
Human societies base their existence on a balancing act with the environment and its internal dynamics. The model of economic and productive system not only has implications for the social structure of each society but their play interactions with the external environment and its relationship with environmental support capabilities that create boundaries trasapasarse risk can enter all system .
The model followed by the dominant model since the Industrial Revolution has resulted in the early twenty-first century in a situation in which the combination of exhaustion of critical raw materials , the phenomenon of Peak Oil and the inability of the dominant political system to change trends is preventing curb global warming phenomenon. The combination of these elements allows to objectively establish lines of real danger to the survival of the dominant social model, or even, in the worst case (ocean acidification and expansion of methane by armósfera) of human lifestyle as we know it. Facing these facts from an interdisciplinary perspective is an obligation for the social sciences if they are to study the phenomenon of social crises caused by the type of dominant socioeconomic model and taken to its logical conclusion. The paper establishes a dialogue with the state of art in this area, explains the different possible scenarios, introduces the political factor in its management and launching a new crisis fit this challenge.
2. Agricultural intensification: Greenhouse farming and environmental degradation in Greece
University of Crete, Greece
This paper is organised in three interconnected parts. First of all, it addresses the question of economic and ecological interdependencies. Conventional greenhouse farming accounts for vast amounts of external inputs (e.g. fertilisers, pesticides etc.) while environmental degradation results. In turn environmental degradation has economic and environmental effects not only at the local level but also at the national and international level. Second, the problem of environmental degradation involves numerous conflicts of interest at all levels, from the local through the national to the international level regarding ‘general’ issues such as the economy, the environment, nature etc. Finally, the role of technology in greenhouse production is connected with particular interests. The bearers of these interests are keen to portray the technical solution as being in the public interest. While on the other hand, it has been argued that technology has damaged socioeconomic and environmental interests. The conclusion will summarise the discussion of the above issues by listing the dilemmas facing the intensive greenhouse farming system in Greece and will demonstrate that even apparently localised or national environmental problems have much wider international ramifications.
3. Local environmental protest and policies on waste disposal facilities in Greece, the case of Crete (1998-2010)
University of Crete, Greece
As shown by related works (e.g. Pellow 2004, Passoti 2010), environmental conflicts around waste, have also been a major problem in Greece over the past 50 years (Kousis 2000, Loukakis 2012). This paper offers new data while it aims to map and analyze the profile of local protest events related to existing or planned waste installations in Crete. The provided conceptual and theoretical framework derives from social movements, especially from the political process theory. A main goal of this essay is to investigate the opportunities and threats of collective action, the type of protest events and the diversity of challenged group responses. Additionally, a crucial question is whether the protest events in Crete comprise a form of environmental movement.
The research method applied is protest event analysis. A total of 198 articles were found in four local daily newspapers, one for each of the four counties in Crete from 1998 to 2010. Statistical analysis was carried out with SPSS. An account of activists, action forms, claims, targets and responses by the challenged groups is provided. Major findings include: a) waste related protests usually target the state or local authorities; b) protest repression depends on the number of actions taken; c) municipalities are significant for the organization of protests, as they constitute the powerful institutional ally to the activists (McAdam 1996), d) action type and protest targets are related to the type of waste installation. Support is provided for Tilly’s (1994) proposition concerning ad-hoc and single issue, community based movements.
4. Livelihoods vs Conservation: Lessons learned from the Shiretoko World Natural Heritage Area
Eirini Ioanna Vlachopoulou, University of the Aegean, Greece
Mitsutaku Makino, Fisheries Research Agency, Japan
Hiroyuki Matsuda, Yokohama National University
The most prominent issue in the field of fisheries management is the choice between the protection of the income of the fishermen and the promotion of conservation, either in an ecosystem level or as species-specific approach. However, recently, there has been a general shift towards a more holistic approach, through which both goals may be achieved, without sacrificing one in favour of the other. The Ecosystem Approach is supported by a large proportion of the academic community as the solution to the conflict between livelihoods and conservation. In the Shiretoko World Natural Heritage Site, the local stakeholders have managed to bridge the gaps through extensive consultation and, supported by the Japanese local and national governments and various academic institutions, have founded the Shiretoko World Natural Heritage Site Scientific Council, in order to build consensus among the stakeholders and adopt the ecosystem approach. As representatives from most stakeholder groups are members, secretariat and observers of the Scientific Council, the interests of various sides, including tourism, fisheries, forestry, agriculture, citizens, scientists and environmental groups, are voiced during the decision-making process. The Shiretoko Natural Heritage Site Management Plan has made significant achievements, by adopting viable trade-offs between conservation, fisheries management and tourism, resulting in a sustainable and largely self-funded conservation scheme. The example of Shiretoko could function as a best case practice for many countries worldwide that face the same problem, especially insular ones, like Greece. By nominating an area as UNESCO Natural Heritage Site would increase the pressure for the adoption of a viable management plan and promote both local livelihoods and environmental conservation.
Session 3: Risk Assessment, risk management and social responses
1. Paradoxes in disaster risk management and climate change adaptation
Risk and Development Advisors
Collating empirical research, theoretical approaches and management experience from Greece, Australia and the UK this paper explores paradoxes in the management of risks to safety, livelihoods and well-being.
The focal point for interventions is the village of Prasino, in the Peloponnese, Greece. This village (like much of the rural Mediterranean Basin) has over past decades experienced a dramatic growth in risk exposure. Depopulation of 90% over the past 50 years has left community resources weakened. An aged population (with an average of 75 years) has reduced capacity to manage risks and particularly wildfires. The paradox here is that the smaller population also means, collectively, a reduced risk.
Water and electricity infrastructure has improved but sewage and telecommunications lag behind. The decline in goat and sheep husbandry and nuts and cereals growth has not lead to a regeneration of natural vegetation but to the development of an herbaceous oak species that is highly flammable, impenetrable and as a weed species rendering many areas unproductive and unusable. Another paradox is that the decline in damaging ecological activities has led to increased fire risk.
Climate change has exacerbated risk through increased summer temperatures (increasing fire risk), reduced winter precipitation and reduced river flow. This is leading to depletion of groundwater supplies, used for domestic use. These risks cannot be managed using traditional disaster risk approaches, even those described as «Community Based Disaster Management». They require a comprehensive social, economic, infrastructure and environmental strategy that fully includes the community (gender, commercial, agriculture, heritage, culture etc); a development strategy that takes particular account of natural hazard risks.
I will critically describe work in Prasino with reference to parallel work in Australia and the UK and efforts to develop a template for development based risk reduction
2. Spatial planning as a non-technical tool in flood risk governance strategies. Evolution of flood risk governance in Poland
Lewandowski Jakub, Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Poland
Matczak Piotr, Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Poland
Growing flood risk in urban areas involves pressure to reshape flood management strategies. The EU’s Flood Directive recommends the improvement of the flood protection in the European river basins by shifting flood management tools from the structural, technically oriented towards more complex approach including non-technical measures. Spatial planning is considered as a key method for minimizing losses and decreasing vulnerability to floods. However, legal and institutional arrangements regulating spatial planning vary among countries. Van der Hurk et al. (2014) noted both significant differences in spatial planning role in flood risk management between the UK and the Netherland. Moreover, despite the legal basis to regulate floodplain developments, practical problems are often faced which reduce the mitigating effect (de Moel 2009). In this paper, the evolution of spatial planning practices in Poland are analyzed and their appropriateness to minimize flood risk in urban areas is investigated. Poland can be considered as a country similar to the Netherlands in respect to reliance on structural measures to defend against floods (although the reasons are different). Thus, a question can be posed whether a significant role of spatial planning use in mitigating floods be expected? Based on case study of Golina polder (in central Poland) in the paper appropriateness of spatial policies are examined. The paper seeks to answer the following research question: How the initial assumption of the role of spatial planning stressed in the Flood Directive is realised? How to face flood risk reconciling local and regional interests? Based on the analysis of legal and strategic documents and on in-depth interviews with experts, it is concluded that in accordance with the path dependence thesis the actual setting of the flood management arrangement obstructs a shift of the flood management approach. Yet, the influence of the EU regulations can have a triggering effect.
3. Mapping stakeholders in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation with a view to decision making and implementation in the midst of the current crisis in Greece
M. Dandoulaki, National School of Public Administration and Local Government, Greece
E. Karymbalis, Harokopio University of Athens, Greece
K. Valkanou, Harokopio University of Athens, Greece
Mapping the stakeholders and their role in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) is context and case dependent. Even more, effects and outcomes of DRR and CCA policies are difficult to assess and attribute to specific actors. Gains and losses of the various stakeholders are hard to pinpoint especially if connecting with emerging risks and/or involving high uncertainty such as the ones stemming from a turbulent socio-economic context.
Disaster risk reduction has been traditionally in the hands of governments. Recent disasters as well as developments in climate change adaptation imply a rising role for the private sector and the civil society, which expand in new fields. DRR and CCA knowledge production and sharing with respect to decision making and policy implementation provide a basis for exploring present trends in stakeholders’ involvement in DRR and CCA.
The abovementioned are some issues examined within the ongoing European project KNOW-4-DRR (Enabling Knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction in integration with Climate Change Adaptation). Based on the results of KNOW-4-DRR project, the paper discusses the emerging role of the private sector, the redefinition of the involvement of the public sector and the renegotiation of the position of civil society. It also touches upon the role of the media and of the scientific community within the new scene of stakeholders in this field. Furthermore, it examines the effects of the current economic, social and institutional crisis in Greece on DRR and CCA decision making and implementation, as perceived by main stakeholders’ groups.
4. Comparative risk management analysis at community level using agent based models
University of Aegean, Greece
This research project aims to study in depth the handling and mitigation of risks between different countries through agent based models including the application of innovative research.
According to the literature review, one of the most effective approaches to analyzing systemic risk in complex systems are agent based models (ABM), a class of models used to explain certain phenomena via a bottom-up approach which, contrary to general equilibrium theory, does not require a steady state, but rather structures interactions between non-representative agents via a set of behavior rules. Those models include bounded rationality, other regarding preferences and heterogeneity among the attributes of agents. Uncertainty and incomplete knowledge are directly related to the study of governance of social-ecological systems.
Multi-agent models are used to describe the practices in different communities in the EU regarding the challenges of sustainable development, including poverty reduction and financial stability. Then, the results of the comparison and analysis are discussed. The basic outcomes of the project include: (1) a model that sheds light on a comprehensive range of risk factors affecting community sustainability among different communities, (2) a comparative list of scenarios and policies related to the handling of risks΄ practices and their effectiveness degree against the specified risks, (3) a model capable of simulating these scenarios and policies, and (4) a list of robust policies for risks reduction in the countries under examination. Therefore we consider the effectiveness and the results between different policies in order to reduce risks and to capture community sustainability while developing resilience amidst deteriorating conditions.
Session 4: Disasters: Proactive and reactive policies
1. A Critical evaluation on disaster definition of Turkey’s disaster management system following the June 2013 uprising in Turkey
Ali Tolga Özden
Department of Architecture, Isparta, Turkey
Traditional disaster management system organized the related institutions according to post-disaster activities including response and recovery in Turkish disaster legislative system in the former decades. However, the shift in disaster understanding which points out the importance of pre-disaster activities among the international agenda particularly in last two decades has influenced the Turkish disaster management system. Despite this fact, the existing system still needs better organizational and legislative amendments in terms of defining disaster phenomena according to shifting understandings and approaches. These amendments have to encompass both reformation in pre-disaster efforts and disaster definition. Turkish legislative and institutional structures have mainly organized their system according to natural disasters in general, seismic originating hazards in particular. This single-sided deficient disaster definition has been causing insufficient perception on other types of disaster phenomena. Social crisis and conflicts, political disturbance originating events have been increasing due to social, political, economic and environmental concerns in Turkey particularly by the beginning of 21st century. One of the large scale uprising events in Turkey in last century occurred in June, 2013. This event which originated from a resistance of a small environmentalist group in İstanbul for defending a community park against a municipal project has changed the perspective of many people to disaster definition and questioned the existing system once more. This paper focuses on the need to re-define the existing disaster understanding in Turkey from the 2013 uprising event point of view. The analysis is produced from evaluation of current disaster management legislation and institutional structure of Turkey, comparison of these systems with shifting international policies and approaches, brief analysis of 2013 uprising and resistance, evaluation of Turkish disaster management system performance in that event depending on literature sources (including national and international news sources, newspapers etc.) and personal experiences. In the end, a critical evaluation and discussion is presented together with suggestions for the future works on the issue.
2. Reading urban vulnerabilities through urban planning history: An earthquake-prone city case from Turkey
Pamukkale University, Turkey
Agglomeration of urban population, inadequate institutional capacity, unplanned urbanization, dense built environment, and industrial concentration are considered as the main causes of urban vulnerabilities against encountered disturbances. Planning decisions which regulate these factors are expected to make contribution to safer urban and social contexts and resilience of cities. However, in developing countries such as Turkey where disaster management is not an integrated part of urban planning process, planning decisions may serve for the construction of vulnerabilities. This study reads urban vulnerabilities with respect to urban structuring led by planning decisions. In doing so, an earthquake-prone city, Adapazari is selected to investigate the extent of urban vulnerability. The vulnerability of the urban environment is presented within a historical perspective on planning periods and disaster history. The effects of regional and local urban planning decisions on urban development and spatial structure are discussed in accordance with the earthquake experiences of the city. The outcome of this study is that planning decisions disregarding urban risks may not contribute to the creation of a safer spatial and social context with respect to disaster mitigation, rather serve to reproduction of urban vulnerabilities.
3. « The State Can’t Do Everything Any More »
The emergence of a discourse on resilience and the enhancement of public-private partnership in the French civil defense field
PACTE / Sciences PO Grenoble, France
Historically, French civil defense used to be an almost exclusive regalian responsibility. As the owner of most of the infrastructures of water, energy, communication and transports, the French State also had the responsibility to provide such vital services to the population, in normal time as well as in time of crisis.
However, following the national and European legislative reforms run over the last two decades, the successive French governments have progressively privatized these infrastructures and transformed them into large companies with specific obligations of service delivery. In case of man-made or natural disaster, these private companies have now the duty to insure the continuity of their activity and to recover as quick as possible, in order to keep supplying people’s needs. In face of disasters, the State has now lost an important part of its crisis intervention capacities, and rather assumes the role of coordinator of these different vital services providers. Civil defense is hence moving from a problematic of national integrity to a problematic of logistic and business continuity.
In order to justify and legitimate this evolution, the French public authorities with these new vital services providers are co-developing a discourse on resilience and the need to enhance public-private partnerships in the field of risks and crisis management, commonly arguing that « the State can’t do anything anymore ». This papers aims to describe and explain this recent evolution of the French civil defense, with the support of a sixteen month field research on the most prominent French network of civil defense, and a background research on institutional and academic literature.
4. Public library disaster practices: Building cross-sector relationships and partnerships
San Jose State University, CA, USA
When disasters strike, the information needs of a community can shift rapidly. One of the roles of a public library is to understand the diverse community information needs of the local populations. As a trusted community resource, public libraries are in a unique position to engage in community-wide disaster preparedness and response planning efforts. This paper draws on evidence from the response of public libraries in the USA to recent natural disasters. It reports on the initial stages of study, funded by San Jose State University (Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity Award) to be carried out between August-December 2014. The study will provide insight regarding how public libraries can be more involved in community-wide disaster planning, strengthening their role as core members of their communities’ disaster preparedness infrastructure. The first phase of the project will involve a nationwide survey of public library leaders. Survey findings will provide insight regarding how public libraries are involved in community-wide disaster planning and identifying libraries that are exemplary models. The second phase will involve in-depth explorations of the exemplary disaster planning models, including interviews with library leaders, as well as leaders of emergency management agencies that partner with those libraries. Both phases of the study will provide library leaders with valuable insight and encourage them to collaborate and to proactively engage in dialogue and planning with their local emergency management community.
Session 5: The political impact of the Eurozone Crisis
1. The Eurozone crisis and its impacts: A discursive actor-attribution perspective
Jochen Roose, Freie Universität Berlin
Moritz Sommer, Freie Universität Berlin
Maria Kousis, University of Crete, Greece
Franziska Scholl, Freie Universität Berlin
Marina Papadakis, University of Crete, Greece
Kostas Kanellopoulos, University of Crete, Greece
Dimitris Papanikolopoulos, University of Crete, Greece
Social crises in the eurozone reached a new level following the 2008 global financial crisis, with Troika (EC, ECB, IMF) and Germany, pressuring for austerity policies and measures, especially in the case of the highly indebted Greek state. The sweeping changes of these policies led to intense debates and conflicts involving public sphere actors such as governance organizations, protest and civil society groups, political parties, economic actors, as well as many others. The aim of this paper is to offer an exploratory, first account of the eurozone crisis and its impacts, focusing on: a) the attribution of responsibility by public sphere actors, b) the ways in which they claim crisis has impacts on society, and c) the needed changes that would take society out of the crisis.
Based on content analysis of newspapers in Greece (Eleftherotypia, & Ta Nea) and Germany (Süddeutsche Zeitung), the article analyzes the perceived impacts austerity measures have on the involved populations from September 2009 to September 2013, using new data from the binational research project “The Greeks, the Germans, and the Crisis (GGCRISI)”. Discursive actor attribution analysis (following political claims analysis, Koopmans 2002), is employed to produce data on, Who is made responsible by whom on what issues and on what grounds in the debate on the Eurozone crisis? in the two countries. Our analysis will therefore allow us to describe the major actors in the public sphere, who blames whom for the eurozone crisis, why and for which types of socio-economic impacts.
2. Protest Campaigns and the Impacts of the Eurozone crisis on Southern European regions
University of Crete, Greece
The paper aims to illustrate and discuss the development of Southern European protest campaigns against Troika (EU, IMF, ECB) Memoranda and Austerity policies which occurred following the 2008 global financial crisis. Using multiple online news sources (including Reuters, Guardian, BBC, and CNN) the dataset involves large protest events (LPEs) comprising the campaigns which voice national level justice claims resisting sweeping structural changes in Greece and other deeply affected Southern European states, i.e. Spain and Portugal. These LPEs engage broad, cross-class coalitions involving large numbers of groups and the general public, targeting power-holders within and beyond national borders (e.g. parliament, banks, EU offices).
Although LPEs are mostly based in the capitals of each country, they are accompanied by parallel synchronized protests in cities and towns within each country with the same claims, or with the participation of citizens from other cities. Sparked by the recent crisis, the LPEs are primarily combinations of demonstration-marches, general national strikes and/or public space (squares/streets) protests. The discussion will center on how these campaigns developed in the past few years as reactions to the policies by Troika and the governments, and on the implications of their claims concerning the impacts of the unprecedented troika/austerity laws and measures, which include job cuts, dramatic wage and pension decreases, tax increases, privatization of public enterprises and education, as well as loss of sovereignty and democratic decline.
3. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Crisis’ effects on Greek social citizenship and quality of government
Christos Kanellopoulos, University of Athens, Greece
Sotiria Liakaki, Independent Researcher
During the last four years Greece has succumbed to an unprecedented economic and social disintegration with austerity measures being imposed as the “unique solution” for overcoming and controlling the debt crisis.
Building on our previous research regarding the model of Greek “particularistic” social citizenship we will attempt an assessment of the recent developments in relation to welfare state policies and quality of government in the Greek case. Our analysis will combine diverse theoretical and methodological approaches, mainly the conceptual tools offered by the Quality of Government Institute (University of Gothenburg).
In this light, the notions of impartiality, fairness, transparency and efficiency, among others, will be taken into account in order to evaluate how public policies were designed and implemented in the crisis-ridden Greece. However, those concepts not only do they provide a framework for understanding social citizenship models under duress, but they also guide our research toward the importance of a “full citizenship” path.
In the case of Greece, the excessive taxation of middle and lower social strata, structural adjustments that are conceived in an “ordoliberal” logic, a violent reshaping of the welfare state’s architecture and its effect on vulnerable social groups, in addition to extremely high unemployment rates and the dismantling of collective bargaining in industrial relations seem to have destroyed the very institutional foundations of any social and political consensus.
4. The “Golden Dawn” party of Greece: Beyond the Eurozone debt crisis
Nikos P. Petropoulos
formerly of the Pedagogical Institute of Athens
The growth of extreme right-wing, neo-fascist, racist, and EU-skeptical, parties in Europe, during the last decade has not only increased concerns among the EU officials but has also increasingly attracted the attention of social scientists. One of the most popular explanations is that these phenomena are the result of the economic crisis and the consequences of the crisis, such as unemployment, business closures, wage cuts, etc. and that once we have economic recovery, these right-wing phenomena will shrink, if not wither away. To assess this hypothesis, the author relies primarily on comparative European and Greek data on voting in the 2014 EU elections and secondarily on surveys done between the 2010 and the 2014 EU elections. However, the more in-depth analysis will be done using data on the Golden Dawn party of Greece. Following a consideration of the factors, both economic and non-economic, that affect the emergence and persistence of the right-wing parties, the author discusses the alternative approaches in the management of the neo-fascist phenomena.
5. The impact of the rise of Golden Dawn in Greece as a result of the socio-economic crisis
University of the Aegean, Greece
A significant number of member states are facing a damaging economic crisis, which is destabilizing and fragmenting the EU as a whole. A great challenge is the emergence of extremist political parties and movements across the continent. In the Greek elections of 2009, far-right Golden Dawn, took just 0,29%. In the elections of June 2012 won 6,92% of the votes and it was the first time such an extreme right party has been in parliament since the fall of the military dictatorship in 1974. Greek public life has long been plagued by scandals of abuses of power, corruption, nepotism, money laundering and financial mismanagement of public funds. Moreover, high unemployment, recession, painful cuts and populism are among the main reasons for the rise of Golden Dawn. This paper explores the history, ideology and hierarchy of Golden Dawn, its recent activities and its interconnections with the Justice, the Police, the Army and the Church. In addition, the paper examines the reasons behind the rise of Golden Dawn, its connection with other parties and the profile of its voters. Finally, the paper concludes by analyzing why after the process of dismantling the criminal organization that has parliamentary mantle, today largely determines the political agenda. The rates of Golden Dawn temporarily decreased, after the barrage of revelations about its action, to return a little later. People lose faith in democracy and that is the real danger.
Session 6: Social consequences of the economic crisis: poverty, unemployment and gender relations
1. Greek women and the economic crisis
University of Crete, Greece
The purpose of my presentation is to show the effects of the current economic crisis on gender relations in Greece, in terms of employment, family responsibilities, state and social policies on gender, and social/ personal issues. The paper will be divided in two parts. The first part will offer an overview of the status of Greek women as well as the austerity policies forced on them by the state and will assess its effects. It argues that the austerity policies in general and those concerning gender in particular, imposed on the country by the Troika have retrogressed several successful steps previously taken by the Greek state towards gender equality. The state in turn rearranged its priorities leaving gender rights last in terms of national importance.
The second part of the paper will discuss how Greek women cope with their reduced benefits and how gender equality policies are affecting their everyday life. Toward that end, a qualitative research was done, using a snowballing sample of a number of women. Through in-depth interviews data will be collected in Athens broader area. Results will be analyzed and conclusions will be drawn.
2. Is the shrinkage of labour cost a substantive step of facing the economic crisis in Greece and in the EU?
National Centre for Social Research, Greece
The harsh austerity measures that, according to official policy, are supposed to overcome the euro crisis have plunged Europe into recession. Austerity policy has proved in Greece to be primarily an attack on wages, social services and public ownership. The European Union has developed a new form of wage policy interventionism (Euro Plus Pact, Six Pact).
The aim of this presentation is to examine if the dramatic reduction of labour cost constitutes a substantial means of facing the economic crisis especially in Greece. The two main components of labour costs- wages and salaries and non-wage costs- are analyzed. Emphasis is given on the great differences between the member-states of the European Union concerning minimum wages, nominal hourly labour cost and its components, while the new legislation for the reduction of redundancy cost is mentioned. With an indicative reference to unemployment and poverty rates both in Greece and the EU because of the economic crisis, the necessary intervention of the EU in social and employment policies for the reinforcement of social cohesion is examined.
Finally the paper discusses the future of the European Social Model (ESM) and proposes the adoption of a new ESM based on the renewal of the European welfare states and the establishment of a European minimum wage.
3. Unemployment and work precariousness in times of crisis
Univeristy of Crete, Greece
The debt crisis experienced in Greece in combination with the legislative measures voted during the Memoranda period resulted in unprecedented – for Greece – high unemployment levels and to the emergence of a highly precarious and deregulated labor market. The above situation combined with the rise in taxation and the shrinking of the welfare state transformed the economic crisis into a social crisis and led to growing social insecurity as to what happens next.
In this context and due to the density of the related phenomena, the notions of precariousness and unemployment seem to acquire a different significance and breadth. In this connection the aim of this paper is to examine the way unemployed and precarious workers experience their working (or non-working) and social condition, as well as their future. Based on “in-depth” interviews, the paper will focus on the subjective experiences of respondents, which are, by and large determined by the wider socioeconomic context present in Greece during the crisis. Most particularly two main issues are going to be examined:
- One, the impact of crisis on the unemployment experience.
- Two, we will examine the different types of precarious work in times of crisis.
Generally we believe in the expansion of the notion of work precariousness, given that it also concerns categories of workers which were previously considered as being “more protected”.
4. The economic crisis impact on immigration: case study on employed and unemployed Muslim immigrants in Athens
National Centre for Social Research (EKKE), Greece
During periods of economic recession, immigrants are among those hardest hit in the labor market. Data from Greece demonstrate a clear increase in unemployment rates of immigrants, both in absolute and relative terms, when compared to the native-born. As well documented, immigrants are more vulnerable during an economic crisis, since they are overrepresented in business sectors that are sensitive to the business cycle, have less secure contract arrangements, and may face discrimination in hiring and layoffs.
To this end, the scope of this paper is to examine the labor market situation of Muslim immigrants in Greece. It will furthermore examine the experiences of discrimination at work, in looking for work, and in attempts to establish a business, during this economic crisis period. We also examine whether experiences in the above mentioned fields differ significantly among immigrants that are employed and those that are not, and identify the factors that determine these differences. For this purpose, we will use data from a recent research conducted by the National Centre for Social Research, on a sample of 154 Muslim immigrants in the city of Athens. Conclusions are drawn from the statistical analysis and provide input for the relevant policy recommendations.
5. Crisis and the risk of poverty at local level: Athens ‘new poverty’ paradigm
University of Athens, Greece
During the recession, a new surge of poverty struck urban areas in Greece. Slower economic growth both at national and local levels, as well as the erosion of the welfare state, have contributed to this poverty surge. Moreover, there is a widespread perception that this poverty has become increasingly concentrated in certain neighborhoods, known as “inner city” or “poverty zone”, and that such neighborhoods have mostly become the habitats of homeless, unemployed, immigrants groups and others. This is, of course, the one side of reality in Athens, as the “old poor” have become poorer and stay in poverty for extended periods of time, but at the same time, below the poverty line fall people who had never been there before.
The objective of this paper is to investigate quality of life and related characteristics among an urban population (Athens) in Greece, using data from a survey conducted in 2012 with a sample of 800 households. More precisely, statistical data and the results of the focus group interviews with key informants, stakeholders and vulnerable people will be discussed, with a view to focusing on labour market multiple effects of instability: part-time jobs, unemployment, time-limited contracts, job changes, downward mobility, income loss and proposing new social interventions at local level. Our analysis suggests that the urban “new poor – materially deprived” groups should be recognised as a new target group. Thus active social policy should place emphasis on addressing the needs of this new group.
Session 7: Migration and Demographic Impacts
1. Exploring recession’s impacts on the so-called “Southern European model of migration”
University of Crete, Greece
The global economic crisis has threatened the economic prosperity of Eurozone, whereas member-states such as Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy have been severely affected. These countries represent the so-called “Southern European model of migration” as in the early 1990s they experienced a sizable migratory influx transforming them from emigration poles to host ones. The study provides evidence that in the context of the current recession the deteriorating economic conditions in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy have acted as push factors affecting their role as host countries in the Southern European migration regime. The data demonstrate the increasing emigration flows as well as the negative crude rates of net migration, as the economic crisis exacerbates. Moreover, the study unveils that the migratory outflows include low-skilled as well as high-skilled individuals. The former primarily involve low-skilled migrants residing in these host countries and been harshly hit by the economic downturn, forcing them to emigrate in wealthier member-states or return to their countries of origin. The high-skilled individuals include Southern European nationals who are forsaking their recession-ridden homelands heading toward to more robust economies. The paper discusses the impacts of the escalating trends of high and low skill emigration in the Southern European countries under study and highlights the necessity of designing adequate policies to tackle negative outcomes.
2. Human disasters in the middle of economic crisis: the case of the non-regular migration into Greece
National Centre for Social Research (EKKE), Athens, Greece
The humanitarian aspects of various kinds of disasters is rarely addressed. The same content of the concept of a ‘disaster’ seldom refers to the issue of human losses as results of the policies implemented. In the proposed paper the idea of ‘human casualties’ is central to the discussion. The paper aims at providing basic research background information in the field of irregular migration into Greece. It is based on the empirically verified fact that more and more ‘people are dying at the gates of Europe’.
The paper also attempts to provide increasing transparency through a critical appraisal of data and estimates in comparative perspective. Quantitative information is accompanied by substantial background materials, both on issues of general concern and on the situation in Greece and abroad. A number of interrelated questions are addressed which range from straightforward empirical and methodological questions such as “how much irregular migration is there?”, “how it is changing?”, and “how do we find out?” to broader questions about the relationship between the kind of data available, the policies formed about the phenomenon and their likely consequences for the persons involved. These issues are explored in the attempt to construct a body of critical knowledge through the processes of calculating risks and the risk of calculating. Conclusions are drawn through the examination of interrelated policies in Greece and abroad.
3. Economic recession and fertility in Greece
National Centre for Social Research (EKKE), Greece
Greece experienced an economic set-back, which expanded into a recession towards the beginning of 2008. The recession brought significant rises in unemployment, poverty, falling living standards, employment instability, austerity measures, income loss, downward mobility and rising uncertainty– especially among the young. Family trends and welfare were affected seriously bringing new family building patterns: delayed and fewer marriages, more cohabitation, more divorces and an older average age of women at childbirth tend to have lower fertility rates.
The aim of this presentation is to outline the recent shift towards low and late fertility in Greece and to explore how current recession affects fertility and partnership formation, focusing on causal factors that mainly affect the postponement of fertility during the recession.
More specifically, we try to answer the following questions: Has the recent economic recession affected fertility and, if so, how? Are changes linked to fertility postponement, with the spread of one-child family model and are likely to be temporary? Are individual fertility decisions and changes at times of economic recession differentiated by sex, age, socio-economic group and current family size? What are the key driving forces behind the decline of fertility?
We expect that the fertility reaction to the economic recession will be most evident among younger people below 30 years old and among the childless, who plan to accumulate substantial resources before having children.
The presentation is structured in two parts. In the first part, we shall review the appropriate explanations of the emergence of lowest-low fertility. In the second part, we will illustrate some very recent and surprising trends in Greece, focusing on how the recession has accelerated some of the previous family trends: sharp fall in fertility and marriage rates, especially among the young adults, birth postponement (sharper decline in first birth rates), more uncertainty in intentions among the childless, longer stay in parental home.
4. Morbidity mortality and financial stress
Financial crisis leads to job insecurity, unemployment, poverty and social exclusion which can be a threat to health. According to the theory due to the economic crisis increasing incidence in depression and suicide is a top priority. Our aim was to investigate whether this crisis had an effect on morbidity and mortality rates.
According to the Eurostat data2014 Suicide rates have increased by 23% from 2008 to 2009 and 5% from 2009 until 2010. Furthermore the growth of population perceiving an unmet need for medical examination or treatment increased by 47% from 2010 to 2011 and 5% from 2011 to 2012. As for the live births there is a decrease by 15% (118.302) from to 2012 (100.371). Healthy life years and life expectancy at birth were decreased from 66.1 for females and 65.8 for males in 2008 to 64.1 for females and 64.8 for males in 2012. There is a decrease for 1,5 year approximately. Self-perceived health in general using one of the answer categories very good/ good/ fair/ bad/ very bad for unemployed persons who say that their health is very good decreased from 64.7% in 2008 to 60% in 2012. As for employed person the same indicator decreased from 66.7% in 2008 to 61.5% in 2012.
The economic situation of people affects the health indicators such as life expectancy, morbidity, mortality and the access to health services. There is a need for preventive measures and individualized approach through the primary health care.