‘BIG’ SOCIETY VS ‘SMALL’ GOVERNMENT? Charities, localism and communities in 19th and 21st Century Greece and UK: towards an old or a new structure of services?

Costas Dikeos


The article, consisting of an introduction and four sections examines the relationship between the ‘Big Society’ doctrine and ideology underlying the doctrine and the concepts of charities, benevolence, locality and community. In the first section it approaches the current form of ‘Big Society’ and the debate about it. In the second it turns to a presentation of social provision in Victorian Britain and to forms of social provision reminiscent of the Big Society idea. Section three examines similar cases of social services provision by local private benefactors and communities in pre- and immediately post independence Greece. Part four concludes on similarities of the three cases bringing the idea of communities to the fore.


Key words: Big Society, charities, locality, communities, United Kingdom, Greece, nineteenth century.

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Το Βήμα των Κοινωνικών Επιστημών (ISSN 1105-1167) - Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλίας, Αργοναυτών και Φιλλελήνων, 38221, Βόλος τηλ: (24210)74883-2  e-mailvima@uth.gr