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Qualitative approaches for the study of socially innovative initiatives

Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research

Haris Konstantatos, Dimitra Siatitsa and Dina Vaiou

Open access

Peter Brokking, Marisol García, Dina Vaiou and Serena Vicari Haddock

The chapter addresses the impact of market-oriented reforms, the financial crisis of 2008 and the resulting austerity measures on housing and neighbourhood services within the already changing trajectories of welfare states. We discuss the shifting boundaries of social groups whose needs remain unanswered and the resulting patterns of exclusion. The focus of the chapter then shifts to the response to these changes, in the form of local initiatives that attempt to address these needs and to further social inclusion. These initiatives highlight the increasingly important role of neighbourhoods and civil society actors in filling the gaps when the welfare state no longer provides basic services or when households can no longer afford to pay for services at market prices. In the final section, challenges for governance are identified and discussed. They include the definition of flexible arrangements between civil society, local public institutions and market actors and a new role of the central state in supporting the social right of access to housing.