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Exploring Social Exclusion, Participation and the Role of Civil Society: Towards an holistic approach for research: the

Case of Greece
Lecturers: Dr. Yves van Leynsele , Dr. Anna Plyushteva Poverty, Institutions and International Development

Thanos Tsikonis: 10328637

Table of contents


Conceptualization of Social Exclusion

The political economy of Social Exclusion

Social Exclusion and Economic Growth

Tackling Social Exclusion: Social Inclusion, Participation and the Role of Civil Society 9

The case of Greece






Introduction The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of social exclusion and its counterparts social inclusion, participation and the role of civil society. I will use the existing literature that deals with these concepts and I will try to present an holistic approach to social exclusion which I believe is necessary for a comprehensive context analysis of how these concepts are emancipated in the everyday life of people. In the first section I will present the main theoretical debates on the concept of social exclusion and I will argue that social exclusion can be caused by both political intervention and path dependent historical and cultural reasons. I will argue that in an increasingly globalized world the political agenda of the international institutions is increasingly influencing social exclusion, rather than norms and behaviors that prevail in each local context and therefore a multi-scalar approach is necessary for future research. In the course of this section I will also refer to the relation of social exclusion and poverty. I will engage in the main theoretical debates behind the interrelation of these concepts and I will agree with Fischer (2011) who promotes a more vertical visualization of social exclusion. I will also argue that political instability is deeply associated with the concept of social exclusion and inequalities. In the second section I will elaborate on the concept of the political economy of social exclusion and I will argue that the main questions that a researcher needs to ask is who is excluded, who is excluding him/her and from what is s/he excluded from. I will present the main debates on the concept of social exclusion and power relations and I will argue that power relations should be taken into account when researching social exclusion even if the concept of social exclusion is in itself not enough to explain power relations. In the third section I will present the potential relationship of social exclusion and economic growth and I will draw on Kabeer (2005) to propose the questions under which the background of the society; what you have, who you are and where you are, should be taken into account. I will also draw on Myrdals theory of cumulative causation to point out that social exclusion can also emancipate under the effect and the dynamics of vicious cycles that can work in favor or against the same group of people even in times of economic growth.

In the fourth section I will present the main theoretical debates on the fight against social exclusion. I will elaborate on the concepts of social inclusion, participation and will analyze the potential role of civil society in this fight. I will present the concept of adverse incorporation (Hickey and du Toit,2007) and I will argue that one of the main problems that this generates and promotes social exclusion is path-dependency. I will again propose that the main question for future research in the use of the concept of participation as an antidote to social exclusion are participation to what; for whom and under which terms. Furthermore, I will elaborate on the role of civil society and I will argue that the problem starts when civil society takes on the role of the provider. In the last section of this paper I will present the narratives collected by four articles published in the international press about social exclusion in Greece under the recent reforms. I will present reality as people who deal with the problem of social exclusion experience it and I will raise my arguments on the policies currently implemented and how they relate to the concept of social exclusion as presented so far. Conceptualization of Social Exclusion One of the concepts I will use for this paper is that of social exclusion. It is therefore necessary to try and analyze what is social exclusion, who is considered to be socially excluded and from what. According to Gallie and Paugam, people are considered socially excluded when they are deprived of full participation in economic, social and political life and/or when their access to income or other resources (personal, family or cultural) is so inadequate that they cannot enjoy a level of life that is considered acceptable from the society that they live in. (Gallie and Paugam 2002). From this definition it becomes obvious that social exclusion is a concept that is absolutely connected with a specific context. It refers to a specific group of people who are participating to a social, economic and political life and therefore they develop a sense of what is socially acceptable in terms of income or social ties. People who are not fully participating in these normalities are considered as socially excluded. At this point I would like to stress the point that for the purpose of this paper this lack of participation is not perceived as voluntary. People are not enjoying what is generally acknowledged as acceptable because of lack of access. From the above mentioned definitions we can therefore understand that social exclusion can be explained in terms of employment or income resources, social ties and relationships, and political rights or participation.

The origins of social exclusion as a concept can be traced back in political philosophies like the French Republicanism, Social Catholicism and social Democracy (Dale and Silver 2008, 539). The French Republicanism shifts attention to the role of the state in establishing social solidarity. Social Catholicism stresses the importance of strong familial, group and social ties and obligations and social democracy focuses on redistributive state policies. From these general perspectives one can identify the institutional background of social exclusion that involves the state as a formal institution and the in-formal institutions that include family and social ties and obligations that are formed within each society. There is in one sense a planned and organized dimension of social cohesion and in the same time society works under norms and behaviors that originate from the history and culture of each territory. I argue that social exclusion can be caused by both political intervention and pathdependent historical and cultural reasons. One more aspect that connects with social exclusion is globalization. As Gray (1996) suggests , economic globalization has developed to the extent that social democratic policies are no longer viable and national governments are powerless in the face of global economic integration and neoliberal deregulation (Beall 2002). In my opinion, globalization has given rise to new actors that play a part in the creation or the alleviation of social exclusion such as the Bretton-Woods institutions or the European Union. I chose to refer to the specific examples as their role will be explained further in the case study. These bodies operate under a neoliberal agenda that has provided at the best ambiguous results in the dynamics of social exclusion. Mishra (1998, 32) argues that the effect of the neoliberal thrust of globalization is to strengthen market forces and the economic realm at the cost of the institutions of social protection. What is suggested is that there is a conflict between neoliberal globalization and social security. Of course there is a question of what do we mean with the term neoliberal globalization and what do we mean by social security or social protection. I believe that these terms can take shape only through examples under specific contexts, otherwise there is the danger of creating such a vague image that can never be specifically conceptualized. On the contrary these concepts are not vague at all and I will present how they can be realized in the everyday life of the people of the Greek society. I argue that because of globalization there is a need to conceptualize social exclusion within a multi-scalar approach. On the one hand people can be excluded from what they perceive as a society and in the same time this can be real for countries as well. On the other hand policies that are decided on an international basis because of globalization are being implemented on a local level by the nation states. According to Beall (2002), there is

increasing evidence to show that there are those who, to a greater or lesser degree, are excluded by global processes, or are incorporated under conditions that are not of their choosing and that are detrimental to their livelihoods and wellbeing. It is suggested therefore that under an increasingly globalized world social in-exclusion is increasingly influenced by political agendas that are promoted from high above rather than norms and behaviors that prevail in each local context. In order to fully conceptualize social exclusion I find it important associate it with the concept of poverty. Graham Room (1998) argues that social exclusion as a concept emphasizes on social relationships, participation, and customary way of life whereas traditional work on poverty focuses more on financial wellbeing, consumption and income inadequacy. In this sense social exclusion and poverty are overlapping concepts that complement each other by steering focus on different variables. From the work of Sen (2000) social exclusion can be perceived as a result of unequal access to functionings and capabilities. Sen described functionings as the things that a person is able to do and be in life for instance being educated or healthy. Capabilities are a combination of functionings that allow him/her to lead the life that s/he values. In the same mood, Bhalla and Lapeyre (1997) argue that social exclusion overlaps with poverty but goes beyond it by explicitly embracing the relational as well as the distributional aspects of poverty. From a different point of view Fischer (2011) suggests that social exclusion should be clearly differentiated from poverty. Fischer looks at social exclusion as structural, institutional or agentive processes of repulsion or obstruction. He promotes a more vertical visualization of social exclusion including social hierarchies rather than just a phenomenon that can be realized only in the lower strata of society. I argue that Fischers insight is even more relevant especially under contexts of increasing inequalities. Social exclusion and poverty are both dynamic phenomena. This means that they can be inflicted or sustained by institutions, structures or agents but in the same time they can be reinforced and perpetuated by norms, behaviors and path-dependencies found on each context. Silver (2007) suggests that the concept of social exclusion is more useful than poverty for addressing disadvantaged groups of people. She sees exclusion as a progressive social rupture and as such it transcends the established money-metric approaches of the concept of poverty that focus on material or monetary distribution of resources. Poverty in many occasions can be widespread. In the extreme example of a country where all or the majority of people are poor, then who is excluded and who is included and to what. I argue that the

concept of social exclusion is more powerful in addressing inequalities within a society and therefore it can point out who is deprived, from what and to what extent. Inequalities can be horizontal or vertical. Vertical inequalities refer to inequalities amongst individuals and horizontal inequalities refer to inequalities amongst groups of people. According to Stewart (2004) horizontal inequalities can lead to a range of political disturbances that can cause political instability. I argue that political instability is deeply associated with the concept of inequality and social exclusion.

The political economy of social exclusion If one accepts Fischers idea of what social exclusion is the following questions arise. Who is excluded, who is excluding him/her and what s/he is excluded from. These are the questions that form what I call the political economy of social exclusion. According to Moncrieffe (2008) power relations, coercive and non coercive; visible and hidden; agreed and imposed, can cause poverty and help to hold inequalities in place (Moncrieffe 2008,3). He suggests that in order to build capabilities and ensure that all people can make the best out of what they have, these power relations should be understood and addressed. What is suggested is that if power is unevenly distributed within a society, more powerful groups will try to maintain their status by promoting and perpetuating exclusion of groups who lack power. Power relations can promote social exclusion within a society of a nation state but also between nation states. In the case study of Greece I will show how a nation state can lose so much power that it cannot promote the interests of its own people leading to an ever increasing social exclusion especially of people who were most vulnerable. According to Tilly (1998) social exclusion can be caused and perpetuated by exploitation. Tilly defines exploitation as the coordinated effort of those in power to command over resources and their returns. In this sense social exclusion has a clear economic purpose. It is seen as the deliberate attempt to gain economic benefits out of specific resource for your own group by excluding others from benefiting from this resource. In the same concept of uneven power relations Bebbington argues that some groups benefit from inequality and the perpetuation of those sets of inequitable political relationships that give more voice to them than to others, thereby allowing them to exercise privileged influence over the structure of society through a range of political, social and symbolic

practices(Bebbington 2007,6). Furthermore, he contends that social exclusion is the result of


inequality or poverty traps that reflect persistent inequalities in economic and social opportunities that can be found in specific groups and contribute to the persistence of their poverty. There is a connection in the concept of social exclusion with the concept of inequalities and I believe that the concept of inequality/poverty traps identifies the chronic results they may have in a society and how their dynamic can act in a cumulative manner, leaving small room for maneuver. Jackson (1999), raises the question whether social exclusion is a sufficient concept for explaining power relations. In his view social exclusion is a simplistic way to think about power relations as under this concept the included are considered powerful whereas the excluded are powerless. I argue that social exclusion as a concept is interrelated with power dynamics that can either be solid or fluid depending on the context but nevertheless they can generate and sustain it. They are the most important aspects to be recognized and evaluated if one needs to identify the reasons that underlie social exclusion. It is therefore important to make a power relation analysis in order to investigate social exclusion. I also argue that power relations on the contrary cannot be explained sufficiently only by looking on social exclusion. Social exclusion is the visible outcome of uneven power relations but in order to fully understand the origins and the dynamics of power relations one should look far and beyond social exclusion. It is not the purpose of this paper to investigate the dynamics of power relations and power distribution so I will not go further on this topic. What I conclude is that the concept of social exclusion even if it does not explain power relations and dynamics in the fullest it cannot be examined without taking power into account. Social Exclusion and Economic growth In the this section I want to further analyze what policies can be introduced that can tackle social exclusion. Kabeer (2005) in his research on social exclusion focused on the following questions: What you have; who you are and where you are. With the first question he draws attention to the resources one has. The second question refers to an identity based discrimination and the third one addresses the spatial dimension of exclusion. In his words a social exclusion perspective draws attention to the overlap between these different experiences of disadvantage economic deprivation; social discrimination and spatial disadvantage (Kabeer 2005, 3). Kabeer concludes that business as usual approach to development has not proved adequate in the past and it is unlikely to do so in the future socially excluded groups are less likely than the rest of the poor to benefit from the normal

processes of economic growth because not only do they own fewer resources of various kinds than other sections of the poor, but they also find it harder to translate their resources into income because of the discrimination they face in markets for labors and commodities (Kabeer 2005,31). It is my argument that Kabeers approach conceptualizes social exclusion holistically and the narrow view of development as economic growth appears too small to address the problem. It is a long lasting belief in the economic agenda of the international institutions like the IMF which I am going to discuss in the case study that market economies and particularly under neoliberal (re)structuring present a sufficient condition for the economic development of all members in a society. This understatement undervalues what I call the inherent causes for social exclusion such as social discrimination and they way it is (re)produced. Myrdal (1944) stressed the cumulative and the circular character of the process that creates discrimination. In his book An American Dilemma Myrdal argued that there was a fundamental dilemma within the American society between the values of democracy and equal opportunity and the experienced realities of discrimination and segregation (Cohen 2004, 3). In his research he identified a vicious cycle in which white people discriminated against black people. In his words white prejudice and discrimination keep the negro low in standards of living, health, education, manners and morals. This in its turn, gives support to white prejudice. White prejudice and Negro standards thus mutually cause each other (Myrdal, 1944). It is my conviction that Myrdal presented a theory so enlightened that it remains relevant to this day in the field of social exclusion. Prejudice and I would add class origin can work as centrifugal forces that can lead to an everlasting vicious cycle of discrimination. The main economic theories that are applied by international institutions like the Word Bank or the IMF and the WTO are not taking into account in the analysis factors like the aforementioned and thus cannot explain why economic growth is not reaching everyone in a society. Tackling Social Exclusion: Social Inclusion, Participation and the role of Civil Society One critique on the concept of social exclusion is based on what the opposite term social inclusion means. The question that arises is included to what? It is argued that with the use of the term exclusion it is implied that inclusion is in all occasions a good thing. This is what Hickey and du Toit (2007) refer to as an underlying moral metanarrative that suggest what is normal and inherently good. Instead they propose the concept of adverse incorporation through which poverty and inequality are the results of uneven power relations and this uneven relations are not found only in the socially excluded and the key point is the

terms under which people are eventually included. Hickey and du Toit argue that the concept of adverse incorporation, captures the ways in which localized livelihood strategies are enabled and constrained by economic, social and political relations over both time and space, in that they operate over lengthy periods and within cycles and at multiple spatial levels, from local to global. These relations are driven by inequalities of power. (Hickey et al 2007,4). Under this rationale the concept of social exclusion fails to address issues of subordinate inclusion or domination. According to Silver exclusion arises from the interplay of class, status and political power in a way that benefits the includedthe excluded are therefore simultaneously outsiders and dominated (Silver 1994, 543). To what this critiques pay attention to is the process under which the members of a society or even states are incorporated. Power relations do not end with the inclusion of the formerly excluded parties but remain even after the inclusion and they define both; the terms under which the inclusion was made and the path that the included parties are inclined to follow. According to Poggi the terms on which citizens and indeed regions are incorporated into the polity are closely related to historical processes of state formationprocesses of state formation have created poverty traps for entire peoples/regions, through different forms of state-building strategy over time (Poggi 1990). I argue that it is necessary to take into account not only how people should be incorporated in development but more importantly in what terms they are incorporated. It is my conviction that one of the major problems which derive from an unequal incorporation is path dependency. Path dependency on the other hand is associated with the vicious cycles of poverty and inequalities that trap people into social exclusion. During the last decade the buzzword in development practice and in relation to the fight against social exclusion was the concept of participation. Since then, many strategies have been implemented that try to engage the whole of the society in the decision making by giving voice to people and therefore hold governments accountable. According to Cornwall and Coelho (2004) reforms in governance have generated a profusion of new spaces for citizen engagement which they call new democratic spaces between the state and the society and they are in many respects conduits for negotiation, information and exchange (Cornwall and Coelho 2004,2). The rationale behind these efforts to engage in this new form of participatory democracy is that by involving citizens more directly in processes of governance makes for better citizens, better decision and better government (Mansbridge 1999; Cohen and Sabel 1997; Avritzer 2002; Gaventa 2004). This bridging of the gap between the government and the citizens is suggested that can give way to a new way of policy formation

that should address peoples concerns in a more effective way. In turn these policies are seen as contributing to guaranteeing the access of the poorest to social services, thus enhancing prospects for economic and political inclusion, and for development (World Bank 2001, UNDP 2003). Cornwall and Coelho (2004) suggest that what underlies these assumptions is the belief that citizens and bureaucrats are both ready to participate and debate their agendas as long as they are offered the appropriate opportunities. In their research the same authors concluded that the participation of the poorer and more marginalized is far from straightforward and that a number of preconditions exist for entry into participatory institutions (Cornwall and Coelho 2004,5). As Chandoke (2003) argues much depends on who enters these spaces, on whose terms and with what epistemic authority. I argue that with the concept of participation as an antidote to social exclusion the same rules of power relations apply. The questions that arise are the same as in social exclusion but this time reversed. Participation to what, for whom and under which terms. Dagnino (2005) discussing the concept of citizenship which is considered as a prerequisite to participation argues that under neoliberal inspiration it began to be understood and promoted as mere individual integration into the market. In the same time and as part of the same process of structural adjustments consolidate rights of workers are being progressively withdrawnphilanthropic projects from the so-called third sector, which

convey their own version of citizenship, have been expanding in numbers and scope in an attempt to address poverty and exclusion (Dagnino 2005,150). Dagnino suggests that the concept of citizenship that underlies participation takes a different form depending on who promotes it and for what reason. Under a neoliberal agenda the main focus is turned to the markets and participation to that is proposed as a solution to social exclusion. Dagnino (2005) identifies two versions of participation. With the first version, participation plays in the extension of citizenship and the deepening of democracy. On the other hand participation has come to be associated with shrinking state responsibilities and with the progressive exemption of the state from the role of guarantor of rights (Cornwall and Coelho 2004,6). It is therefore necessary to distinguish these two versions of participation in the analysis on social exclusion. I suggest that promoting citizenship and engaging in participatory methods for strengthening democracy could prove beneficial for people who suffer from social exclusion on the basis that they are included on equal terms in the aforementioned new democratic arenas and on the basis that bureaucrats are willing to listen and participate under those equal terms. On the other hand using the concept of participation as a way to reduce state responsibility on dealing

with social exclusion and to promote non state actors on taking the lead in this fight gives way to private interests ready to exercise their power advantages and in the end create even more social exclusion and poverty. According to Gaventa as the concepts of rights are expanded across the globe, the traditional boundaries between the state, civil society and the private sector are becoming blurred, requiring a rethinking of the roles and relationships of governments, the corporate sector and citizens (Gaventa 2002, 10). This blurring of the boundaries that Gaventa identifies is representative of the dynamic change of the role of the state in the last four decades. This retreat of the state has given rise to the role of civil society. Roy suggests that civil society was that moment in development when the state would ensure the right of the individual to life, liberty and property. It was essentially a bourgeois construct (Roy 2003, 80). He argues that during the 80s the search for alternatives led to the reincarnation of civil society as the third sector. He uses the word reincarnation to distinguish this notion of civil society from the original Lockhean and Hegelian notion of an individuals right to life, liberty and property under the umbrella of a liberal-democratic state. According to Mahajan (1999) the new concepts of civil society are seen as attempts to separate it from the state altogether. Mahajan argues that the second half of the 20th century is characterized by a loss of faith in the institutions of the state and looks on civil society as an alternative to ensure the essential human and democratic rights (Mahajan 1999). He argues against the detachment of civil society and the state by suggesting that the institutions of civil society are part of the democratic constitutional state and only in this way we can ensure social equality and non discrimination along with individual liberty. I suggest that this detachment of civil society and the state and the moreover retreat of the state in front of the rise of civil society has promoted the latter in many cases to the role of the provider. In doing so it has underestimated the dynamics of the power relations that exist in civil society organizations as well as the conflict of interests involved in the so called humanitarian arena that may work against the interests of the excluded groups of the population. As Houtzager and Moore suggest the two dominant intellectual trends in international development, neoliberal and poststructuralist have converged on a set of beliefs that if pursued in practice may undermine the opportunity to expand inclusion (Houtzager and Moore 2003:11). I argue that one of the practices is the new provider role that is given to civil society.

The case of Greece Up to now in this paper I have tried to explore the concepts of social exclusion and its counterparts; social inclusion, participation and the role of civil society. I have argued that these concepts may be vague in nature but they can be translated in real experiences for the lives of millions of people. Social exclusion can be caused by both political intervention and path dependent historical or cultural reasons. In this sense it can be inflicted or sustained by specific political institutions and political agendas and in the same time perpetuated by local norms and behaviors that have historical or cultural origins. I suggested that the main questions addressing social exclusion are what you have, who you are and where you are. In the same sense participation should be addressed with similar questions like participation to what, for whom and under which terms. I pointed out the twofold role that civil society can potentially meet and argued against its new role as a provider. In the next section of this paper I will use this methodology to analyze the case of a Greece which underwent dramatic changes in terms of social exclusion the last two years under the light of the neoliberal restructuring of the Greek economy with the guidance of the IMF and the European Union. On February 2012 the French finance minister said that all the elements are in place for an agreement on a new bailout loan (Fotiadis, 2012). This new bailout loan following a serious of previous loans for the same reason in the last two years is given to ensure that Greece will avoid bankruptcy in mid-March. Fotiadis (2012) in his article in the Helsinki Times on line wondered what the cost of this bailout is for the Greek citizens. According to mainstream economists and politicians the solution to the Greek debt crisis and the only option for returning the country to a path of progress is fiscal consolidation. Fotiadis claims that this austerity proposed by the international community, the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission has meant the demise of labor economic and human rights and the dismantling of an inefficient as he characterizes but yet crucial social welfare system. The exchange for the bailout as it was included in the last document or as it is called by Greek authorities Memorandum of Cooperation agreed between the troika and the Greek government was the cutting of 150000 public sector jobs, overturning existing labor hours, slashing pensions and reducing monthly minimum wages by 20% for the second time leaving the minimum wage at 400 euros per month. The minimum wage has been reduced from 751 euros to 400 euros net salary in less than two years. This translates to a 40% drop on the income of people entering in the labor market for the first time or returning to work after a period of unemployment. On the same time prices according to the CPI calculated on March

31st 2012 have slightly risen comparing to one year ago; and this is the reality that people who are still employed face. Maria Malagandris in her article at the French newspaper Liberation on the 30/01/2012 reports that the Athens City Hall is supplying two meals a day to jobless workers who are now threatened with famine in the wake of austerity measures. Amongst the people standing in the line there are members of a new category of soup kitchen customers who as Malagandris suggests they are not used to scrounging for food and that the most of them refuse to talk to journalists. She calls them the neo-poor and they are people who were laid off their works the last two years. On top of the burden of unemployment they are also facing debts that have built up because of loans given during the boom years of the Greek economy (2000-2007) when economic growth rate was 4.2%. In the same article Malagandris reports that in the last two years the number of homeless people has risen by 25% and many people are facing a daily battle with hunger. Nikita Kanakis the president of the NGO Doctors Without Borders said I began to worry when in my consultancy I saw one, then two, then ten children who came for treatment with an empty stomach without having had a meal the previous eveningover the last years we have seen more and more Greeks. Middle-class people, who have lost their social security status and can no longer obtain treatment in public hospitals. Six months ago we began distributing food like we do in Third World Countries. Johannes Korge and Ferry Batzoglou in their article for the German news agency Spiegel elaborate on the reality of the new poor in Greece. They interviewed people from the humanitarian agency Klimaka and they came to the same conclusions. Effie Stamatogianopoulou one of the agencys experts says it is no longer just the regulars who are brought blankets and hot meals at nightit really started about two years ago. Suddenly it was not just people with psychological problems or drug addictions who were knocking on the organizations red wooden door. The middle class is increasingly becoming our target group. From statistics published by the Eurostat in 2010 almost 28% of the Greek population lived at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Eleni Bekiari who is the psychologist of the Klimaka agency reported that in the Klimakas 24h suicide hotline, in 2010 there were about 2500 calls made to the number. In 2011 there were twice as many. She says in the interview Most of those who call us are women, on the other hand it is usually the men who end up taking their lives, taking into

account that Greece traditionally has one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe this is a dramatic change. In her article for the news agency Reuters on the 30/03/2012, Debora Kyvrikosaios reported the reality faces by thousands of people in a small Greek town near the harbor of Piraeus, called Perama. The city with the once thriving shipbuilding industry has long faced social exclusion since buyers abandoned it for cheaper solutions outside Greece. At the moment the city faces an unemployment rate of 60% which is three times the national average. The result of this extreme unemployment is that people have lost their health insurance and are excluded from the national healthcare system. The NGO Doctors of the World have taken up this role on behalf of the state. The initial goal of the clinic that was set up two years ago in the city of Perama was to treat poor immigrants. As Kyvrikosaios reports in her article it now finds that 80% of its patients are Greeks. Liana Maili a pediatrician in the clinic says We tell a lot of people that come here; your child needs to go to the hospital, we cannot treat the problem here, and they tell us; I dont have the 1.40 euros to take the bus and go to the hospital. Nikitas Kanakis, head of the NGOs Greek arm states There are some families that have not had electricity for five, eight months, who spend the winter burning pieces of wood to keep warm and whose children eat from the garbage. Lately the clinic has been overwhelmed with vaccination requests for Greek children whose parents cannot booster shots, something the agency has only ever seen in the developing world. Antonis Giatras who is visiting the clinic regularly, has been 5 years unemployed and in the interview taken by Kyvrikosaios he says there are some days when we have no bread or food; my young daughter who goes to school is forced to go some days without taking any food with her. In the above narratives, people are sharing their view of the reality that relates to how they experience it. In the case of Greece the main actors that take part in the context are the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European commission who are referred to in the Greek reality as the troika, the Greek government, everyday citizens and parts of the civil society like the NGO Doctors of the World and many other humanitarian agencies. The Structural Adjustment Program that is referred to as a Memorandum of Cooperation by the Greek authorities sets the framework under which domestic policies are implemented. It sets the rules of the game. Greek society is asked to participate in the program that evangelizes the salvation of the country from an economic default that would eventually exclude the country from the eurozone. Under this context there are two dimensions that interrelate under more or less the same structures. The first is the dimension of Greece as a nation and its

participation in the European monetarist union. The second dimension involves the Greek society who is asked to participate in the reforms as this is the only alternative that they have in order to gain back what they lost the last years because of the debt crisis. The threat of the countrys exclusion from the eurozone and the consequent default provides the background of the proposed austerity measures that have been implemented the last two years. The question that I raise is under which terms is the country participating in the eurozone and what does this mean for the citizens. Until now, the terms under which Greece is urged to keep participating in the eurozone project promotes a profound and unheard before social exclusion for the citizens. The second question is who are being excluded. In Greece under the recent reforms social exclusion goes beyond the regular groups of people that were targeted until now as the drug addicts and the immigrants. It reaches the former Greek middle class and generates what is referred to as the neo-poor. This social exclusion gets no attention from the current policies implemented by the government and this has given rise to NGOs and humanitarian agencies to become the providers of healthcare and social welfare. In the case of Perama the NGO Doctors of the World is providing health facilities for the people who lost their insurance because of long-term unemployment. Conclusion In this paper I tried to present an holistic conceptualization of social exclusion and its counterparts; social inclusion, participation and the role of civil society. I acknowledge that the concept of social exclusion and the concepts that surround it include even more aspects and dimension that I was not able to incorporate due to the restricted length of this paper. What I wanted to make clear in this paper is that social exclusion is a broad concept that needs a holistic approach for future research. This holistic approach should be critical and look on the issues concerned spherically. I pointed out in this paper the political economy dimension of social exclusion and its association with existing power relations and dynamics and how this dimension is crucial for identifying the ways under which social exclusion generates and reproduces. I proposed the main questions that should be asked in a research for social in-exclusion and how these questions can create the bigger picture which is necessary for any political intervention. Who is excluded, who is excluding him/her and from what is s/he excluded from. In the same spirit on participation the questions that arose were; participation to what, for whom and under which terms. In accordance with power relations the questions are what you have, who you

are and where you are. The answer to all of these questions can provide a clearer picture for social exclusion and thus a new inspiration for policy formation which I chose not to include in this paper. In the case of Greece I presented how people experience social exclusion and what is the role of the main actors in the specific context; the international community, the national government, the citizens and the civil society. Under the Greek context becomes obvious how international institutions can influence social exclusion and what does the concept of participation mean for the excluded groups. In the same context also became clear how the civil society can act as a provider and under which circumstances this happens. In the Greek context the international institutions provided a framework under which the domestic institutions should operate. This framework was inspired from the IMFs neoliberal recipes of privatization, deregulation and lack of social welfare. The result was that the nations sovereignty decreased so much under the threat of exclusion that has left people wondering to what they are really asked to participate into. Are they asked to participate in their own salvation or in their own social exclusion? References Avritzer, L. (2002), Democracy and the Public Space in Latin America, Princeton: Princeton University Press Bhalla, A. and Lapeyre, F. (1997), Social Exclusion: Towards an Analytical and Operational framework, Development and Change, Volume 28, pp 413-433 Bebbington, A. J et al. (2007), Inequalities and Development: Dysfunctions, Traps and Transitions Bourdieu, P. (1986), The forms of Capital, in John G. Richardson, editor, Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education Chandoke, N. (2003), The Conceits of Civil Society, Delhi: Oxford University Press Cohen, S. (2004) The lasting legacy of An American Dilemma, Carnegie Results Cohen, J. and Sabel, C. (1997), Directly-Deliberative Polyarchy European Law Journal 3(4):313-42


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