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

Gender and Human Rights

online lecture series
16 December 2020

Gender, Conflict, Citizenship & Belonging

academic workshop
17-19 March 2021
*** new date ***

all events

Europe and Solidarity

News

Intersectionality, Inequality and the Challenge of European Values

Sociologist Akwugo Emejulu and historian Heleen Debeuckelaere discussed 'Intersectionality, Inequality and the Challenge of European Values' in the sixth webinar in our series on 'European Values, Citizenship & Belonging'.
Watch the webinar...

The Role of Nationalism in European Community Building

In this session of the series European Values, Citizenship and Belonging, Cynthia Miller-Idriss (American University, Washington, DC) talked about belonging, exclusion and national space. Noel Clycq (University of Antwerp) responded to her talk.
Watch the webinar...

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on Europe and Solidarity

Publications

book cover - What Values, Whose Values

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on Europe and Solidarity

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