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Blessing or Curse?

The Impact of the Refugee Crisis on Organized Civil Society in Greece

In: Southeastern Europe
Authors:
Anastasios ValvisDepartment of Political Science and International Relations, University of the Peloponnese, Tripolis, Greece, an.valvis@gmail.com

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Sotiris PetropoulosDepartment of Political Science and International Relations, University of the Peloponnese, Tripolis, Greece, petropouloss@yahoo.gr

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Katerina KaisariDepartment of Political Science and International Relations, University of the Peloponnese, Tripolis, Greece, kaisari.kat92@gmail.com

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Asteris HuliarasDepartment of Political Science and International Relations, University of the Peloponnese, Tripolis, Greece, asterishuliaras@gmail.com

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Abstract

Studies have identified variables that influence ngo objectives, organizational structures and activities, often related to the broader socio-economic context. Among the most important are the availability of funding and the density of networks. Both factors affect ngo s by driving them either to adjust priorities and widen or limit their operations and/or to become more or less extrovert. This article aims to assess whether, how and to what extent the recent refugee crisis has impacted the Greek ngo ecosystem in terms of scope of activities, professionalization, organizational structures and transnational networking. Available funding, mostly from European institutions, has suddenly and spectacularly increased while International ngo s (ingo s) established operations to Greece – some cooperating with local partners. Likewise, several Greek ngo s (gngo s) embarked on a process of significant operational expansion, mostly ‘in the field’ and as part of an ‘emergency response’. Also, a series of grassroots organizations have been created – mainly at the local level. Based on a series of interviews with executives of the most recognizable gngo s, funders and policymakers and a survey based on questionnaires, the authors argue that the impact was both positive and negative and varied extensively depending on the size and type of organization under focus.

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