Revitalizing Civil Society for Robust Island Systems: Social Innovation through the Enhancement of Local Capacities (CRISSI)

The impact of the financial crisis in Southern Europe is the tip of the iceberg that has partly its roots in the international financial crisis, but is also closely linked to the evolutionary dysfunction of the -relatively young- democracies of the European South. The Greek society and economy for instance, face acute symptoms of a long history of degraded civic trust and chronic institutional decay, which magnified the impacts of the financial crisis and led to further loss of trust in democratic institutions.

However, there is growing evidence that the crisis has stimulated segments of civil society to revive paradigms or come up with entirely new solutions based on self-organisation and bottom-up initiatives so as to face social anxiety and frustration and seek for jointly responding to the impacts of austerity. Despite the fact that such paradigms and responses are still under-studied and remain largely a hypothesis, it seems that the crisis has triggered a transition process towards alternative development paths in industry, agriculture and tourism, though in a still fragmented and uncoordinated way.

CRISSI seeks to lay down the foundations (network building and project proposal submission) for deeply understanding these processes and to investigate the prospect for coordinating these actions, assisted by local authorities and societies together with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). CRISSI focuses on Cyclades islands located in the central Aegean Sea, as the most promising and illustrative case where local responses to the crisis and emerging trends can be identified and experiences can be utilised to develop a research proposal under the societal challenges of HORIZON 2020.

The overall objectives of the project are:
(1) Build up a consortium of dedicated partners in two countries severely hit by the crisis, Greece and Spain, and further benefit from experiences of local stakeholders, national and international social networks and renowned academics from Germany, South Europe and beyond, so as to advance our knowledge on promising bottom-up solutions to the persisting multi-faceted crises.
(2) Attaining the first objective will allow the development and submission of a research proposal targeting the “societal challenges” SC2 Programme (Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy) of HORIZON 2020.

Principal investigators
Eisenack, Klaus Prof. Dr. (Details) (Resource Economics)

Further project members
Roggero, Matteo (Details) (Resource Economics)


Duration of project
Start date: 10/2018
End date: 08/2020

Last updated on 2022-07-09 at 19:07