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Contested forms of solidarity: An overview of civil society organizations in Hungary and their impact on policy and the social economy

Szalai, Julia and Svensson, Sara and Vince, Daniel
This study grew out from the authors' research within the larger framework of the project Solidarity in European societies: empowerment, social justice and citizenship (SOLIDUS). The project conceptually and empirically explores current and future expressions of European solidarity from an inter-disciplinary approach. The paper is based on desktop research carried out in spring 2017 with relation to how solidarity can be channeled into social innovation and co-creation of public goods, i.e. into the social and solidarity economy, through involvement of the 'third sector'. The focus is on involvement in the areas of education, employment, housing, and health. Being important and influential areas of civil action for tackling fundamental needs of large social groups all over the place, these were the sites of inquiry for the larger project. As for Hungary, this selection proved useful for additional purposes. While NGOs working in education and health deserve attention for their weight (these entities represented some 20 per cent out of civil society organizations registered in 2015, HCSO 2015), inquiring into the very few NGOs that exist within housing and employment gave us insights into some shortage-ridden areas, as well as into the particular constraints of scarcity and under financing in civil actions.

The paper is structured as follows. We start by providing basic information and numbers on civil society in general (section 1.1.) and the social economy, in particular (section 1.2.). We then move to an in-depth analysis of the policy environment of civil society (section 2) in general, and social innovation and social economy, in particular (section 3).
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Contributor: Center for Policy Studies - http://cps.ceu.hu
Topic: Culture and Civil Society
Country: Hungary
Document Type: Policy Analyses
Year: 2017
Keywords: Civil Society, Education, Employment, Healthcare, Housing, Justice, Solidarity, Social Policy
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