Solidarity in Europe and the World

We think of solidarity as “the ability to engage in cooperative activity to strive for common goals, and a sense of unity and bonding” (Jeffries, 2014, p. 7). Following Mbembe’s lead, solidarity entails the mutual recognition of our common vulnerability and finiteness and in turn creates a basis for dealing with it.

In the multi-layered network of structures of living together, solidarity can find an expression at different levels and in a variety of intensities. The extent of solidarity that can serve as basis for collective action also arguably varies with the sources of vulnerability. These may vary from the human condition itself, in line with Mbembe’s cosmopolitan argument, to less inclusive definitions of “we” based e.g. on pre-existing “bonds which unite men with another”, as Durkheim (in Lukes, 1972, p. 139) or Sen (2009) would argue, or constitutional bonds, in line with Rawls or Habermas (Banting & Kymlicka, 2017, pp. 5-47, p. 3-4). 

Historically, solidarity has come to be centrally anchored at the level of the nation-state, where the “nation” defines a “we” that claims to rule itself (Appiah, 2018, p.147) and that therefore also can both invoke national sovereignty to fend off external influences and, internally, justify the enforcement of particular entitlements and duties. Consequently, the predominant role of supra-national structures has been seen as merely to support national-level structures in fulfilling this role. This tradition is deeply rooted in European Humanism (Grotius in Nussbaum, 2019, pp. 105-55), which has been a rich source of inspiration not just to reflect on solidarity but also to justify a model of civilization imposed through colonization or other strategies of western domination.

Projects

SCRIBANI network

gathers 15 European Jesuit centres on the social construction of Europe

FUCE

UCSIA is part of the European Federation of Catholic Universities, which offers a summer school on European Humanism in the Making

Peace Education Chair

examines an aspect of peace in its manifold manifestations and subjects it to a scholarly multidisciplinary investigation.

Events

webinar Gender & Peace

Masculinities in Times of Crisis

webinar
18 March 2021

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Europe and Solidarity

News

Microfinance as a Lever against Poverty

While the COVID-19 pandemic is especially weakening economies in developing countries, microfinance players are taking action to support their most vulnerable clients. Experts Cecile Lapenu (CERISE), Loïc De Cannière (INCOFIN) and Johan Bastiaensen (Institute of Development Policy of the University of Antwerp) discuss the impact of the global corona crisis on poverty and microfinance in developing countries.
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Security Cooperation Europe & the United States

This webinar with Stephen G. Brooks (Dartmouth), Sven Biscop (Egmont Royal Institute) and Tom Sauer (University of Antwerp) analyses of EU-U.S. relations in the light of the recent presidential elections in the United States.
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Publications

book cover - What Values, Whose Values

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on Europe and Solidarity

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