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Barbara Prainsack

help to strangers. Even representatives of the United Nations remarked on the “spreading” of solidarity “among people everywhere” ( UN 2020 ). But is what we have been seeing really solidarity? And how does the supposed surge in solidarity sit with the

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Contradictions of Solidarity

Whiteness, Settler Coloniality, and the Mainstream Environmental Movement

Joe Curnow and Anjali Helferty

the world to stand with them to protect water, land, and future generations. Thousands of well-intentioned people arrived at Standing Rock to, very much imperfectly, put their solidarity theory into action. In the past several years, there has been a

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The End of the European Honeymoon?

Refugees, Resentment and the Clash of Solidarities

Siobhan Kattago

honeymoon extolling solidarity, civil society, freedom and unity is being eroded by divisive trends of nationalism and xenophobia. Populists from right and left are against established representative government, the EU and globalisation. However, it is only

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Sanctuary City Organizing in Canada

From Hospitality to Solidarity

David Moffette and Jennifer Ridgley

—and reflect on the types of politics that inform notions of sanctuary, hospitality, solidarity, and resistance. We conclude by humbly offering some lessons for future organizing, specifically arguing for a consequential and risky politics of solidarity

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Affective Solidarities?

Participating in and Witnessing Fair Trade and Women’s Empowerment in Transnational Communities of Practice

Debarati Sen

consumer-citizens in the global North to demonstrate their affective solidarity with producers in the global South by visiting certified production sites to participate in and witness the effects of fair trade on worker’s livelihoods. Their acts of

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Black Solidarity

A Philosophical Defense

Mabogo P. More

How should black people, indeed any other group of people in general, respond when they are grouped together and oppressed on the basis of the contingency of their physical characteristics? Questions of liberation from oppression involve questions about the means to overcome that oppression. Throughout the ages of struggle against racial oppression, for example, collective black identity and solidarity has been one of the favourite responses and rallying call for racial justice and liberation. In South Africa this response has recently emerged through the formation of a number of highly controversial groups such as: The Native Club, The African Forum, and The Forum for Black Journalists. Critics of these formations think that such black solidarity, divisive, irrational, morally objectionable and, above all, racist. This paper defends the emancipatory racial solidarity tradition, examplified by The Native Club and similar constituted organisations, against such serious charges and critiques mounted by contemporary leading thinkers on identity. The tools for such a defense are primarily derived from Jean-Paul Sartre's conception of group formation in his Critique Of Dialectical Reason. I argue that since anti-black racist consciousness always operates at the level of collectives, it is therefore impossible to fight such racism as an individual; that collective black solidarity is a necessary condition for racial emancipation.

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Bjørn Schiermer

This article attempts to put forward new perspectives on solidarity in Durkheim's work, useful for an understanding of contemporary reality. First, it sketches why his modern 'cult of man' should be understood as an instance of mechanical solidarity, and discusses how to generalize this scenario and move beyond the idea of the 'cult of man' as mechanical solidarity's sole modern instance. Next, it investigates some of the shortcomings of Durkheim's diagnosis of modernity itself. This is in an effort to show how these shortcomings – reflected in his critique of the modern economy, his interactionism, his focus on the whole and his insensitivity to the ephemeral and aesthetic – led Durkheim to overlook the persistence of mechanical solidarity in the modern world and hindered him from developing the explanatory potential of his sociology of religion in a modern context. The article then explores the dynamic, decentred, 'individualized' and mediated nature of contemporary forms of collective formation by selectively extrapolating from the relation in Durkheim's work between the individual and the social. Finally, in returning to the question of mechanical solidarity in modern society, it outlines the contours of a concept of collective consciousness applicable to a modern setting.

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Solidarity's Tensions

Informality, Sociality, and the Greek Crisis

Theodoros Rakopoulos

During times of crisis, economic practices organized on principles of reciprocity often arise. Greece, with the vibrant sociality pertaining to its 'solidarity economy', is a case in point. This article is premised on the idea that crises make contradictions in societies more visible. I suggest that a central contradiction is at play in Greece between informal and formalized economic activity, as demonstrated in the tension between the fluid features of 'solidarity' networks and the formalization proposed or imposed on them by state institutions. In Thessaloniki, the informal solidarity economy proves to be more efficient than the work of NGOs. Arguing that such economic activities are built around the rise of new forms of sociality rather than a tendency toward bureaucratization, the article contributes to anthropological understandings of solidarity and welfare, as well as their relation.

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Militant collectivity

Building solidarities in the Maoist movement in Nepal

Dan V. Hirslund

A stubborn, anticapitalist movement, Maoism has persisted in the global periphery for the many past decades despite its tainted image as a progressive alterpolitical platform. This article seeks to ponder why this is the case by looking at a recent and popular example of leftist radical politics in the MLM tradition. I argue that contemporary Nepali Maoism is offering a militant, collectivist, antiliberal model for confronting capitalist and state hegemony in an effort to forge new class solidarities. Responding to a changed political environment for continuing its program of socialist revolution, I trace how the Maoist party's efforts at building a mass movement become centered on the question of organization, and in particular the requirements of what I term an ethical organization. Through an analysis of how caste and gender equalities are institutionalized within the movement, and the various ways in which collectivity becomes linked to concrete practices, the article offers an ethnographic analysis of contested egalitarian agency within a movement undergoing rapid change.

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Eyes wide shut

Il/legality and solidarity in housing struggles in (post)socialist Sofia and Caracas

Mariya Ivancheva and Stefan Krastev

This article presents the results of a collaborative ethnographic inquiry in contemporary Sofia and Caracas. Combining historical research and ethnography, we compare the ways in which a former and a current left-wing regime treat urban squatting. In both cities, squatters tend to be poor families escaping homelessness. In Sofia, “squatters”—usually of Roma origin—inhabit unregulated spaces deemed illegal after 1989. In Caracas, homeless families have been officially encouraged to squat but not declared legal occupants. A historical comparison shows both socialist governments turn a blind eye to extralegal housing practices. Benign, informal housing arrangements function to display solidarity with marginalized groups as a form of popular legitimacy. Yet, without formalized state protection, such arrangements produced a “surplus” population, vulnerable vis-à-vis global processes of capitalist reorganization.