In looking at the other side of the crisis regarding solidarity networks in Greece, this piece provides an introductory overview for a special section of that deals with topical issues such as the effects of austerity measures.
The egalitarian tensions of a bridge‐concept
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
Participating in and Witnessing Fair Trade and Women’s Empowerment in Transnational Communities of Practice
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
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
Reconfiguring care and citizenship in Greece's social clinics
In response to growing numbers of people unable to access national healthcare, networks of ‘social solidarity’ clinics/pharmacies have emerged throughout Greece. These clinics/pharmacies redistribute donated medicines, and they provide care through networks of volunteers. They thus seek to respond to the growing ‘contagion’ of austerity in Greece with what some describe as ‘contagious’ solidarity. Discourses regarding social health also permeate the clinics. Solidarity is often described as the ‘other face’ of the crisis, which has brought group participation into the centre of Greek citizenship. Research participants, however, also reflect ambivalently on their work, exposing solidarity's entanglement in austerity politics and neoliberal subjectivity.
‘poisonous knowledge’ and the Academics for Peace in times of authoritarianism
Zerrin Ōzlem Biner
Based on the case of Academics for Peace (BAK) in Turkey, this article reveals the conditions and trajectories that constitute precariousness and solidarity in the academic context of Turkey and the United Kingdom. Reflecting on a self‐ethnographic narrative, the main focus of the article revolves around the question of how to live an academic life when what we do and what we produce is perceived by both the public and the state as acts of potential threat to the integrity of nations and the well‐being of societies. What types of solidarity and forms of vulnerability and resilience emerge from these situations? How might the production of knowledge be transformed into a means and a place of solidarity? In the context of these questions, the article continues the search for possibilities that could emerge from precarious conditions and lead to another ethics or policy of coexistence in/outside the academic world.
Revisiting the gift taboo in times of crises
This article addresses solidarity and the opening of social spaces in the relations between refugees and residents of Greece who try to help them. ‘Socialities of solidarity’ materialise alternative worldviews; they are loci for the production of lateral relationships; places inhabited by the prospects that derive from the political production of sociality. The article discusses the ‘gift taboo’, dominant in the pre‐crisis era, that reflects the risks of giving to the formation of horizontal relationships. In the contemporary ‘European refugee crisis, and other crises, the gift taboo has collapsed, posing challenges to the egalitarian visions of sociality.
Conceptualizing the Temporal Relationship between #BlackLivesMatter and Anonymous’s #OpKKK
Jared M. Wright, Kaitlin Kelly-Thompson, S. Laurel Weldon, Dan Goldwasser, Rachel L. Einwohner, Valeria Sinclair-Chapman, and Fernando Tormos-Aponte
This article offers a theoretical and empirical exploration of a form of solidarity in which one group spontaneously mobilizes in support of another, unrelated group. It is a fleeting solidarity based not on shared identity but on temporarily aligned goals, one aimed less at persistence and more at short-term impact. We call this drive-by solidarity because of its spontaneous, unilateral, and unsolicited nature. We argue that it is a “thinner” form of solidarity in comparison to “thicker” forms usually conceptualized in the social movement literature. We examine the case of Anonymous’s “Operation KKK” (#OpKKK), an online hacktivist campaign to expose Ku Klux Klan members carried out in support of #BlackLivesMatter protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, in November 2014, and we use social media data to show that, while BLM and Anonymous networks temporarily coordinated during the protests, there is no subsequent evidence of long-term coordination.
Where Did It Go?
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.
That philanthropy perpetuates the conditions that cause inequality is an old argument shared by thinkers such as Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde and Slavoj Žižek. I recorded variations of the same argument in local conversations regarding growing humanitarian concern in austerity‐ridden Greece. Local critiques of the efficacy of humanitarianism, which I explore here ethnographically, bring to the fore two parallel possibilities engendered by the ‘humanitarian face’ of solidarity initiatives: first, their empowering potential (where solidarity initiatives enhance local social awareness), and second, the de‐politicisation of the crisis (a liability that stems from the effectiveness of humanitarianism in ameliorating only temporarily the superficial consequences of the crisis). These two possibilities – which I treat as simultaneous and interrelated – can help us appreciate the complexity and social embeddedness of humanitarian solidarity in times of austerity.