For a long time, solidarity was an important concept in (leftist) political contexts and in the workers' movement—in particular in the form of international solidarity with the oppressed and as solidarity with the proletariat. Currently, the term "solidarity" is back in the spotlight: solidarity against racism and solidarity with Black, Indigenous and People of Color, solidarity with those dying in the Mediterranean Sea and solidarity with refugees, solidarity against the spread of COVID-19 and solidarity with so-called "high risk groups" and with an overburdened health system, solidarity against sexism, classism, ableism, etc. Solidarity is important for human coexistence. Recently, however, the political right and extreme right-wing parties have also been invoked solidarity in order to protect the population from supposed external threats.
In a variety of new social movements, the question of solidarity arises again and anew: With whom, with what, or against what do people show solidarity? Which images of solidarity do allies assume? And what does lived solidarity actually look like? How can lived solidarity structures function in an institutionalized and non-institutionalized way? What is solidarity and what is it not? How does solidarity relate to utopian visions of society?
Many social movements aim to mobilize those who are not directly affected by injustice to fight for social equality. By including allies, social movements not only gain in numbers, but can also increase their social influence because their actions are perceived as more legitimate and appropriate. At the same time, allies do not always understand the struggles of the people they are acting with or, paradoxically, may entrench the hierarchies they seek to abolish. Solidarity is therefore ridden with challenges, and it is important to question when and under which conditions the involvement of allies facilitates or undermines efforts of societal change. How can a practice of solidarity be justified? What do practices of solidarity look like? And what is behind the idea of solidarity networks?
Last but not least, the discussion about solidarity is also about asking ourselves how and to what extent one acts in solidarity in activist, artistic, academic and everyday environments, in everyday organizational life and in research practices. How are processes of solidarity-unmaking or the erosion of solidarity dealt with? How is solidarity shaped under neoliberal forces? And what neoliberal imperatives lie behind actions of supposed solidarity?
This thematic issue aims to address the topic of "solidarity" from a variety of perspectives and is open to different formats.
We invite contributions on the following topics below as well as on additional perspectives beyond those listed here:
- Solidarity with whom? Questions of inclusion and exclusion
- Solidarity as affective forces (emotions, practices, relationships, attitudes, values, etc.)
- Feminist, decolonial, and queer possibilities and controversies of solidarity
- Consequences of the engagement by allies for societal change and for society (e.g., cooperation, cohesion or conflict, dilemmas)
- Solidarity and difference in relation to equality or justice
- Solidarity within a group vs. solidarity with the "other"
- Changing notions of solidarity
- Solidarity and the (re-)emergence of collective identities
- Solidarity as academic practice
- Solidarity and activism
- Solidarity and knowledge production
We look forward to receiving abstracts, ideas, and proposals for scholarly, activist and/or artistic contributions, as well as a brief biography of the contributor(s) by March 1, 2021 to the following email addresses:
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributions should be no longer than 25,000 characters including all references and will go through a collaborative editing process.
Further information for authors of academic or essayistic contributions:
Deadline for abstracts/ideas: March 1, 2021.
Feedback on submissions: March 15, 2021
Deadline for submission of manuscripts/contributions: July 31, 2021
Submission decision and feedback: mid-September 2021
Deadline for final, revised contributions: October 15, 2021