Haris is currently a PhD candidate in Political Science and Sociology at the Scuola Normale Superiore. His research focuses on the organizational transformation of social movements and grassroots organizations in Greece during the times of crisis. Haris received his BA from the Department of International Economic Relations and Development, Democritus University of Thrace (Greece) and his MA from the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg (Sweden). During his postgraduate studies, Haris has participated in the research project “Corruption in Post-Conflict Societies” at the University of Gothenburg. His main research interests include social mobilizations and anti-austerity struggles, deliberative and participatory democracy and social economy.
“The transformation of Social Movements in times of crisis: the case of Greece”
The emergence of the recent economic crisis has triggered an increase in social mobilization all around Europe and mainly in Southern European countries. Due to the fact that Greece was (and still is) one of the most affected countries in the region, Greek social movements under the forms of neighborhood assemblies, radical political forums and trade unions, social cooperatives, alternative currency networks and medical centers, have played a significant role challenging and, at some point changing, both the political and social status quo. However, it is not only the case that social movements became an important actor in the formation of current Greek politics but also the other way around. In particular, due to the inefficacy of the private sector to support the labor market and the state’s inability in securing basic welfare services to large groups of the population, Greek social movements found windows of opportunities to develop beyond movements’ usual demands for changes or abolition of specific policies to the establishment of more ‘institutionalized’ grassroots structures. What this research aims is to understand how Greek social movements have changed their organizational structure, their channels of communication and their decision-making processes and how these changes are connected with the promotion of deliberative democracy practices and features of social economy from below.