Social innovation in the field of Roma inclusion in Hungary and Austria: lessons to foster social cohesion from Thara and Tanodas

Carla Weinzierl, Andreas Novy, Anikó Bernát, Florian Wukovitsch, Zsuzsanna Vercseg

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingChapter in edited volume


Be it the increase in poverty and unemployment, ‘Brexit’, or the current refugee tragedy – there is clear evidence that social and territorial cohesion is at stake in Europe. Historically, struggles for social cohesion were intended to repair the damages done by capitalist modernisation, such as the dissolution of traditional communities or widening class cleavages. Since the 1990s, social cohesion became a key European policy concern. While in line with the Lisbon Agenda the term has been de-politicised and framed as functional to competitiveness (Maloutas et al., 2008, p. 260), social cohesion has to be understood as the contradictory and contested quasi concept with different definitions in different policy fields (Jenson, 1998). From a socioeconomic perspective, it deals with the exclusionary dynamics of social inequality and poverty. While equality was never achieved in centralised welfare regimes, there has been a uniformisation in the access to social services and infrastructure which was often not very attentive to diversity. From a political perspective, social cohesion includes participation, representation and mobilisation, questioning an understanding of citizenship based on nationality. From a culturalist perspective, some stress the right to difference as well as recognition, dignity and belonging, while others focus on essentialist identity-building based on ‘outsiders’ and ‘insiders’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Services Disrupted
Editors Flavia Martinelli, Anneli Anttonen and Margitta Mätzke
Place of PublicationCheltenham
Pages302 - 320
ISBN (Print)9781786432100
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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