A social economy without civil society? New article reviews the Hungarian experience

January 31, 2019

In a new article published in the journal Intersections, CPS Affiliate Researcher Julia Szalai and CPS Research Fellow Sara Svensson use conceptual and empirical material derived from the SOLIDUS project to take a long-term look at the development of civil society in Hungary and what it means for the potential of growth in the social economy sector in line with European policy strategies. The article argues that this is difficult, economic acts based on solidarity and originating from civil society do not automatically form or increase a ‘social economy’ but become as contested by and as intermingled with political developments as other acts of civil society. The analysis demonstrates although there has been some development in the legislative and policy framework supporting organisations that situate themselves with the social economy sphere, the overall long-term development is a threat not only to the future of democracy of Hungary, but to the growth of a  solidarity-based social economy that policy-makers at the European level as well as in many nation-states view as constituting a transformative power for enhanced wellbeing and all-embracing welfare.

Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics is a peer reviewed journal which promotes multidisciplinary and comparative thinking on Eastern and Central European societies in a global context. The journal was founded by the Centre for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest and provides an international forum for scholars coming from and/or working on the region. Several researchers affiliated with CPS has previously published in the journal, most recent addition was Stefan Piemonte's article on Romanian Roma youth at the crossroad between spatial, social and educational im/mobility.

The article is available at the Intersections website here.