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History, theory, practice
Jared Holley

In this chapter, Jared Holley questions Andrea Sangiovanni’s account of the role of solidarity in the late nineteenth-century French colonial context. He argues that it exhibits a ‘methodological nationalism’ such that solidarity is worked out as a response to and engagement with solely domestic issues, for example, the class conflict endemic to the Third Republic in which solidarism was born. Holley believes this is a mistake because it obscures how solidarity emerged in part as a response to and in engagement with a much more international, colonial context.

in Solidarity – Nature, grounds, and value
On living in solidarity
Sally Scholz

In this chapter, Sally Scholz urges Andrea Sangiovanni to conceive of solidarity less as a kind of action and more as a transformative set of relationships that evolve over time. Rather than merely act in solidarity, she suggests what is needed is for us to live in solidarity. She claims that solidarity is transformative in two senses: internal and external. It is externally transformative in the sense that it aims at radical societal and political change. It is internally transformative in the sense that it encourages us to rethink and rework our relationships to ourselves and to others. With respect to ourselves, being in solidarity compels us to overcome bias, prejudice, isolation, and self-interest; with respect to others, being in solidarity sparks care, concern, and mutual understanding while also generating the possibility of new kinds of cooperative association.

in Solidarity – Nature, grounds, and value
Rainer Forst

In this chapter, Rainer Forst raises two concerns about the account of solidarity given by Andrea Sangiovanni. Firstly, he notes that Sangiovanni only employs ‘solidarity’ in the singular, to denote the core content of any meaningful usage of the term, while conceptions provide thicker interpretations of the central components. But it is not clear why Sangiovanni calls the result of different interpretations different ‘concepts of solidarity’ and not ‘conceptions’ of solidarity, as Forst would prefer to do. Secondly, Forst addresses one of the core elements of solidarity, that of ‘joint action.’ Why is ‘action’, as an actual event, required for solidarity? Sangiovanni’s analysis makes clear that different kinds of justifications provide different ‘reason[s] to act in solidarity’ with others. So solidarity implies an identification-based reason to act in solidarity and the willingness to do so if necessary. But that practical attitude and willingness seems to be sufficient to be solidary, and the actual acting not required, as it depends on contingent circumstances. Contrary to what Sangiovanni says, to be in solidarity is to possess a particular practical state of mind. To actually act need not be part of the definition of what solidarity is.

in Solidarity – Nature, grounds, and value
Open Access (free)
Andrea Sangiovanni

In the final chapter of the volume, Andrea Sangiovanni responds to his critics. Taking the preceding chapters one by one, he assesses the validity of the main points raised and offers counter-arguments.

in Solidarity – Nature, grounds, and value
Open Access (free)
Nature, grounds, and value
Andrea Sangiovanni

In a world where politics is becoming increasingly fragmented, unequal, and divided, solidarity is of crucial importance. But what exactly is solidarity? The concept can feel hopelessly vague and amorphous, bleeding into other related notions such as altruism, community, mutual concern, fellow-feeling, and justice. At the same time, there is a tendency to identify numerous possible kinds of solidarity, notably political, social, civic, and human. In his lead essay for this volume, Andrea Sangiovanni sets out to elaborate a unified concept of solidarity that can comprehend each of these usages while having enough structure to make it normatively and empirically fruitful in a range of other contexts. He argues that solidarity is best understood not as an emotion or kind of fellow-feeling but as a particular form of joint action characterized by a typical profile of commitments, intentions, and attitudes, and triggered by an identification with others on the basis of a shared cause, role, way of life, condition, or set of experiences. Most of the essay is dedicated to unpacking each of these aspects. But Sangiovanni also takes the time to re-elaborate, extend, and revise some of the key insights into solidarity that have emerged in recent literature.

in Solidarity – Nature, grounds, and value
Catherine Lu

In this chapter, Catherin Lu encourages Andrea Sangiovanni to consider failures of solidarity in conditions of structural injustice. Sangiovanni’s lead essay focuses mostly on instances when solidarity not only succeeds in bringing people together but is also valuable, although it does mention cases of solidarity bent toward wicked ends. Lu expresses sympathy for Sangiovanni’s account of the instrumental and non-instrumental value of solidarity, but argues that assessing solidarity’s value in contexts of structural injustice is more complicated than his analysis suggests. Ultimately, one may be more ambivalent about the instrumental or non-instrumental value of solidarity as a social practice in contexts of deep and pervasive structural injustice.

in Solidarity – Nature, grounds, and value
Avery Kolers

In this chapter, Avery Kolers challenges the argument that solidarity should be understood as a special form of joint action. He uses the example of the famous Trinidadian cricket player Wilton St. Hill. Early in his career, St. Hill faced a choice: he could either play with the lighter-skinned, bourgeois team – Maple – or with the working-class, darker-skinned team – Shannon. Maple actively excluded dark-skinned Blacks. St. Hill decided to throw his lot in with Shannon, despite the greater advantages that a career playing for Maple might offer him. The reason that St. Hill gave was that Maple would ‘not have accepted his brothers’. Kolers argues that St. Hill’s act of identification as such counts as an act of solidarity. He concludes that there can be solidarity without joint action, because St. Hill’s taking sides with the more disadvantaged is a purely individual action and cannot be understood as part of a wider joint action in which Black Trinidadians opposed the racial and colonial caste order.

in Solidarity – Nature, grounds, and value
Andrea Sangiovanni in dialogue
Series: Critical Powers

In a world of deep political divisions and rising inequality, people feel the need for some form of collective resistance and transformative joint action. Calls for solidarity are heard everywhere. This book presents a critical proposal to guide our reflection on what solidarity is and why it matters. How is solidarity distinct from related ideas such as altruism, justice and fellow-feeling? What value does acting in solidarity with others have? In his lead essay, Andrea Sangiovanni offers compelling answers to these questions, arguing that solidarity is not just a fuzzy stand-in for feelings of togetherness but a distinctive social practice for an anxious age. His ideas are then put to the test in a series of responses from some of the world’s foremost philosophers and political theorists.

School segregation of Romani children
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Chapter 3 focuses on the ‘making of citizens’ through education. Education in liberal democracies represents a possible corrective mechanism for inequalities among future citizens. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds should get an equal chance for inclusion into society through the education system. However, the chapter argue that in practice education can also be structured in such a way that it actively creates the fringes of citizenship. Using an intersectional reading, this chapter analyses how states justify school segregation of Romani children as a legitimate measure. It looks at four cases of school segregation at the European Court of Human Rights: D.H. and Others v. the Czech Republic (2007), ‘Sampanis and Others v. Greece (2008), Oršuš and Others v. Croatia (2010) and Sampani and Others v. Greece (2012) – to argue that state discourses either denied the existence of segregation or portrayed it as a beneficial measure for Romani children to ‘catch up’ with the majority language. The chapter compares these cases with the reasoning present in US court cases on African American children and school segregation. It shows that in the US case segregation was legal on paper, whilst in the European cases segregation was prohibited. Still, in both cases segregation remains as one of the fringes of citizenship both for Roma and African American children.

in The Fringes of Citizenship
Open Access (free)
Reflecting on citizenship from the fringe
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The Conclusion summarises the main findings of all the previous chapters in order to theoretically grasp the invisible edges of citizenship and the fringes of citizenship. It concludes that in order to understand marginalisation further research on the structural mechanisms leading to marginalisation needs to be conducted. It rejects the claim that marginalisation is incidental and directly points to the mechanisms that produce it. It also rejects the claim that Roma and other marginalised minorities are themselves to blame for marginalisation, discrimination and their exclusion from society, where they should be included as citizens. It discards the claim that Roma are just passive observers of their position. Rather, they do address it and subvert it: the subversion at the fringes of citizenship, I argue, also carries the potential for the reconstruction of citizenship itself to become truly inclusive and without invisible edges. The Conclusion also identifies some critical policy guidelines on how the invisible edges of citizenship could be avoided in the future.

in The Fringes of Citizenship