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

Lezingenreeks debating development

Migration and Climate Justice

Debating Development Series
22 November 2022

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Europe and Solidarity

News

Applications for the European Leadership Programme are open!

The ELP is a fantastic opportunity for young professionals and leaders in Brussels to gain experience in politics, to be part of a community and develop professional skills to become a better leader. It includes private conversations with high level speakers and leaders and a volunteer experience in marginalised communities in Brussels. Apply before 15 September 2022, get started in October 2022
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European Solidarity and Just Finance

European Solidarity and Just Financing

call for papers for an international academic workshop in March 2023. Which place does solidarity have within the European Union? New and existing support mechanisms along with new financing instruments entail further steps in the creation of a ‘Social Europe’. It makes the question ever more pressing which place the EU actually holds in the domain of social policy. Extended submission deadline: 24 October 2022
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Publications

Minorities, Belonging and Values
A Requiem for Peacebuilding?

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on Europe and Solidarity

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