The emerging environmental problems in the 1960s and 1970s were the basis for “Grassroots movements”. The explicit focus on ecological and social sustainability, which is a defining characteristic of ecovillages, arose in the 1990s. In earlier communities, of course, there had been efforts to live in ways that were ecological and in close contact with nature, but the specific sustainability focus accompanied the emergence of eco-villages. According to this values the Institute of Sociology at Hungarian Academy of Sciences elaborated the Climate-Friendly Municipalities programme in 2005.
Social sciences can help local authorities and local communities to understand the social background of ecological crises and climate change and to create new, nature-friendly social norms as well.
It is therefore essential to examine scientifically the social and economic paradigms that may contribute to increasing or decreasing the level of resilience of societies. After analyzing the results of this programme in the last ten years we realized that current social and economic values and norms are robustly hindering local level social resilience and to form such climate-conscious values and norms that could create a harmonious relationship between the natural order and social order. After all today 30 municipalities take part in this programme.
The paper based on case studies, want to highlight the results and the failures of this project in Hungary focusing on the question: What can we learn from this special struggle on the local level which is essential for the whole society in Hungary and in the other countries.
This media entry was a contribution to the special session „Grassroots movements in Hungary. “ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.