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9781910259153 9781910259597
Publication Date: 31 July 2023
Page Extent: 412
Series: Monographs
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European Solidarity

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

By Francesco Tava , Noëlle Quénivet

What is solidarity and what makes us think it is something important? Is it just an abstract idea or something more like a prosocial practice that can grow to inform legal regulations and political decisions? How is it that solidarity is so widespread in everyday language while this rarely corresponds to concrete applications of this principle? And what kind of application does solidarity find in the European context, historically and in the present?

European Solidarity gathers insight into all these questions, from scholars specialising in variety of fields including philosophy, political science, international law, sociology, and intellectual history.

By focusing on its conceptual genesis, the thinkers and contexts that contributed to its evolution, and the practices that aim at implementing it, this book provides an interdisciplinary picture of European solidarity, highlighting its main features, limits, and potentialities.


Foreword: European Solidarity and the Importance of the Ideational Debate
Frank Vandenbroucke, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health, Belgian federal government

Editors’ Introduction
European Solidarity: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Francesco Tava and Noëlle Quénivet


1 Solidarity: A Realist View
Andreas Busen

2 The Solidarity Deficit of the European Union: A Missing Functional Value
Carlo Burelli and Niccolò T. Donati

3 Consensus and Identity: Solidarity and its Conceptual Risks
Marie Wachinger

4 Solidarity in European Union Law: More an Abstract Ideal than a Substantive Principle
Harriet Gray

5 The Blind Spots of European Solidarity: Democratic Empowerment and the Constructive Potential of Conflict
Alexander Heindl


6 Jürgen Habermas on European Solidarity
Alessandro Volpe

7 Thinking without a Banister: On Hannah Arendt and Solidarity
Karolin-Sophie Stüber

8 European Solidarity as Negative Solidarity: An Adornian Approach
Dagmar Wilhelm

9 East European Solidarity in the Global History of Solidarity
Michael Gubser

10 Solidarity and the Founders of the EU
Roberto Castaldi


11 The Democratization of Solidarity through Science (in Europe and Beyond)
Robert Gianni

12 Aid and Solidarity: Ambivalent Practices with Transformative Potentials
Eva Fleischmann

13 The European Agenda on Migration
Yasha Maccanico

14 The Criminalization of Solidarity in Today’s European Union
Christian Dadomo, Noëlle Quénivet, and Francesco Tava

15 Solidarity in Crisis? A Better 'Pandemic Preparedness'
Barbara Prainsack

Editors’ Conclusion
Francesco Tava and Noëlle Quénivet

This book, which gathers contributions from scholars specialising in a variety of disciplines – including political philosophy, international and European law, intellectual history, and the social sciences – aims to combine theoretical and empirical research to better understand what European solidarity is and what it could become. It spans widely across different aspects of European integration, and sheds significant light on how the ideal of solidarity informs and should inform debates on, among others, the Covid, financial, and refugee crises. The volume is a must-read for anyone who has wondered why solidarity is such an important value within the European Union, and what can be done to deepen and extend it. -- Andrea Sangiovanni, King’s College London

This is a valuable addition to the literature on European solidarity, bringing together interdisciplinary contributions from established and junior scholars across Europe. The book will be of value to those interested in philosophical thought on solidarity, as well as to those exploring it from a more practical perspective, whether in relation to the European migration crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic management, or other contemporary challenges that face the European Union, its member states and its people today. -- Eglė Dagilytė, Anglia Ruskin University Law School

Innovative and timely, each essay in this engaging collection addresses a different facet of solidarity, a concept widely used but little understood in the public sphere. With its presumption of equity and inclusion, solidarity exercises significant rhetorical power within the European context. Tava and Quénivet have gathered an invaluable compendium to the study of European solidarity that promises to expand critical engagement of solidarity in political theory, philosophy, law, and related fields. -- Sally J. Scholz, Villanova University

Francesco Tava is Associate Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Social Sciences at UWE Bristol. His main research interests are in political philosophy, phenomenology, and applied ethics. He is particularly interested in problems surrounding the meaning and function of political solidarity in the European context. He is the author of The Risk of Freedom (2016), which analyses the political phenomenology of Czech philosopher and dissident Jan Patočka, and the editor of Phenomenology and the Idea of Europe (2017), and Thinking after Europe (2016). He has also published in the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (2021), Philosophy Now (2021), Phenomenology and Mind (2021) Studies in East European Thought (2020), Metodo (2018), Filosofický Časopis (2018), the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology (2016, 2021), and Horizon (2016).

Noëlle Quénivet is Professor in International Law at the Bristol Law School of the University of West of England (UK). Prior to that she worked as a Researcher at the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (Germany). She has published and edited books as well as written journal articles in the field of international humanitarian law, international criminal law and human rights law, mainly on issues relating to children and women in armed conflict. Her current works focuses on migration in Europe and EU citizenship. She holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Nottingham (UK) and a PhD in Law from the University of Essex (UK).

Carlo Burelli is Law and Philosophy Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. He works at the intersection of political theory and political science, and his research is broadly focused on clarifying what can and should hold together today’s large and conflictual societies. This vast question led him to cross various debates: utopian and realist political theory; theories of justice and theories of legitimacy; solidarity and equality in contemporary political societies. Carlo has published two monographs in Italian (Realtà Necessità Conflitto: Il realismo in filosofia politica (Carocci 2020) and E fu lo Stato: Hobbes e il dilemma che imprigiona (Mimesis 2010), as well as many articles in international journals, such as Ethics and International Affairs; Ethical Theory and Moral Practice; European Journal of Political Theory, and Journal of Common Market Studies. He also worked as lead-writer for an acclaimed board game about politics, The King’s Dilemma.

Andreas Busen is a lecturer in political theory at Hamburg University and has previously held positions at Goethe-University Frankfurt and the University of Oxford. He has worked extensively on solidarity, republican political theory, methods and methodology in political theory and the history of political thought. His current research focuses, in addition, on the role of children in politics and political theory. He is also a member of the editorial team of a popular German political theory blog.

Roberto Castaldi is Associate Professor of Political Philosophy and Director of the Research Centre on multi-level integration and governance processes at eCampus University. He is co-founder and Research Director of the International Centre for European and Global Governance (CesUE, spin-off of the Scuola Sant’Anna of Pisa). Roberto is General Editor of Euractiv Italy and Co-editor of Perspectives on Federalism. He was awarded an Altiero Spinelli Prize for Outreach About Europe. His research activity focuses on the EU and federalism.

Christian Dadomo has been a lecturer and then a senior Lecturer in Law at the University of the West of England since 1990. He currently teaches International Competition Law and European Environmental Law on the LLM programmes and co-teaches European Union law in the second year of the LLB degree and on the GDL programme. He has acquired a degree in French Law, a Higher Degree in French Public Law and a Postgraduate degree in European Community Law at Strasbourg University (France). Prior to joining the University of the West of England, he was lecturing at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques and Institut des Hautes Etudes Européennes at Strasbourg University, and at the Strasbourg Centre of the University of Syracuse (USA). He was also a visiting lecturer in European Union Law at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia (1995–6), and at Münster University in Germany (2003–10). His main publications include two textbooks on the French legal system and on French substantive law (Sweet & Maxwell). He is currently writing a new book on the French legal system and law and is co-author, with Noëlle Quénivet, of European Union Law (Hall & Stott, 3rd edn 2020). Christian has presented a number of papers at world or regional conferences and has also been engaged in consultancy on French and European law for academic institutions and private practices.

Niccolò T. Donati is a researcher at the University of Milan and senior researcher in Fondazione G. Feltrinelli. His current research is on European integration and how the Maastricht Treaty has transformed the conception of solidarity underlying the EU institutions, in particular Cohesion Policy.

Eva Fleischmann studied sociology, psychology and gender studies at the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich (BA / MA) (Germany). In 2017/2018 she worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Social Research (ISF) in Munich, an institute of labour and industrial sociology. From 2018 to 2021 she was a research assistant at the LMU Munich (chair of Prof. Dr Lessenich) in the interdisciplinary project Practices of Solidarity: Structures and Dynamics of Transnational Solidarity in the 20th and 21st Centuries, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. In her doctoral thesis titled What Is the Solidarity Potential of Munich’s ‘Welcome Culture’? A Relational Theoretical Analysis, Eva developed an empirically grounded concept of solidarity based on the events in Munich after the 'summer of migration' in 2015. Using qualitative methods, she took a look at the multitude of volunteer and activist activities during this time and examined the tension and differences between aid, charity, activism and solidarity. Since October 2021, Eva has worked at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt (IfS). Her research interests are theories of social inequality; political sociology; sociology of work and industry; qualitative methods; and gender studies.

Robert Gianni is Assistant Professor at the department of Philosophy and investigator for Ethics and Responsible Research and Innovation at the Brightlands Institute for Smart Society of Maastricht University. His research focuses on the relationship between the emergence of innovative technologies and the related democratic regulatory frameworks. By studying democratic principles and methodologies on the one hand, and the development of technologies with a strong social impact on the other, Robert aims to establish a democratic framework for the management of social claims through technology. He has been working on several European projects investigating different approaches to design and implementation of regulatory frameworks of research and innovation. Among his publications summarising his investigations in the field is Responsible Research and Innovation: From Concepts to Practices (Routledge 2018).

Harriet Gray is currently working on the principle of solidarity in the EU’s Common European Asylum System. Her broader interests lie in asylum and immigration law at national and international levels, EU law and human rights. Harriet has been a Lecturer at the Liverpool Law School since September 2016 and was previously a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

Michael Gubser is a Professor of History at James Madison University in Virginia (USA). His research focuses on intellectual history and international development. He is the author of The Far Reaches: Phenomenology, Ethics, and Social Renewal in Central Europe (Stanford 2014) and Time’s Visible Surface: Alois Riegl and the Discourse on History and Temporality in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna (Wayne State 2006), as well as co-editor of The Practice of International Development (Routledge 2018). He is currently on a Guggenheim Fellowship completing a book on the history of international development.

Alexander Heindl studied philosophy at the Munich School of Philosophy (BA/MA) and business administration at the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (BSc). From 2018 to 2021, he was a research assistant at the Munich School of Philosophy (chair of Prof. Dr Reder) in the interdisciplinary research project Practices of Transnational Solidarity, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Munich School of Philosophy. In his doctoral thesis, Solidarity and Contingency, he conceptualises practices of solidarity – on the basis of theories of radical democracy – as modes of coping with the contingency of the social. Alexander's research interests are within social philosophy, especially theories of radical democracy, postfoundationalism, postcolonialism and degrowth, and the works of Judith Butler and Richard Rorty. In addition to his academic activities, he also works as a transformation and innovation consultant.

Yasha Maccanico has been a researcher at Statewatch, whose monitoring work examines the relationship between EU and national policies in the Justice and Home Affairs policy field (immigration and security policies, policing, law, surveillance) since 1997. Awarded a PhD by the University of Bristol School for Policy Studies for his thesis on European Migration Policies as a Problem: State Power and Authoritarianism, he co-operates with the Migration Mobilities Bristol specialist research centre. Apart from ongoing coverage of developments at the EU and national levels for Statewatch, Yasha has published Immigration Policies and State Power, for the journal Societies (2021) and co-authored a report for the Transnational Institute (Amsterdam) on the Shrinking Space for Solidarity with People on the Move (2018). He works on the criminalisation of NGOs and the effects of EU migration policy externalisation to developing countries and their human rights implications; and he co-ordinated an open letter sent to the International Maritime Organization, calling for the repeal of the Libyan SAR (Search and Rescue) zone, because it enables the return of migrants to detention centres where people are abused. Within Statewatch, Yasha participates in networks (co-presidency of the Migreurop Euro-African network, EDRI, etc.) and campaigns on the role of EU agencies.

Barbara Prainsack is a Professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna (Austria), where she directs the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Solidarity (CeSCoS), and the interdisciplinary Research Platform Governance of Digital Practices. Her work explores the social, regulatory and ethical dimensions of biomedicine and bioscience, with a focus on personalised and 'precision' medicine, citizen participation, and the role of solidarity in medicine and healthcare. Her most recent book is Personalized Medicine: Empowered Patients in the 21st Century? (NYU Press 2017). Barbara is a member of the Austrian National Bioethics Committee and of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, advising the European Commission.

Karolin-Sophie Stüber studied philosophy, literature, and sociology at the Justus Liebig University Giessen (BA) and the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (MA) (Germany). She worked at the chair for Practical Philosophy in Jena (Prof. Dr Esser) and co-organised interdisciplinary conferences on the topics of normativity of the social (2017), anti-discrimination (2017) and solidarity (2018). During her time in Jena, she was an ambassador for SWIP (Society of Women in Philosophy). From 2018 to 2021, she was a research assistant at the Munich School of Philosophy (chair of Prof. Dr Reder) in the interdisciplinary research project Practices of Solidarity: Structures and Dynamics of Transnational Solidarity in the 20th and 21st Centuries, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Karolin-Sophie is a PhD candidate at the Munich School of Philosophy. In her doctoral thesis, she develops a social philosophical understanding of solidarity by revisiting the work of Hannah Arendt. Her research interests lie in the field of social philosophy, especially theories of power, justice, and solidarity, feminist philosophy, and the work of Hannah Arendt.

Alessandro Volpe is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Philosophy of Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan. He is a member of the International Research Centre for European Culture and Politics (IRCECP). Alessandro's research focuses on contemporary critical theory, the idea of solidarity, and the philosophy of Europe. He was a research fellow at Fondazione Fratelli Confalonieri (Milan) and visiting doctoral fellow in the Cluster of Excellence, The Formation of Normative Orders, at J. W. Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt-am-Main (winter 2019–20). Among his publications are Le ragioni dell’Europa: Habermas e il progetto d’integrazione tra etica e politica [The Reasons for Europe: Habermas and the Integration Project between Ethics and Politics] (2021), and Hegel e l’identità politica europea [Hegel and the European Political Identity] (2017).

Marie Wachinger completed her PhD in Political Theory at the Free University of Berlin (Germany) (Otto-Suhr-Institut für Politikwissenschaft) in 2021. She received a full PhD scholarship from Hans Böckler Stiftung from 2018 to 2021. In 2019, she was a Visiting Researcher at the European University Institute in Florence. She also holds an MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom) and a BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Amsterdam University College (The Netherlands).

Dagmar Wilhelm is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Bristol. She has research Interests in moral, social and political philosophy, the Frankfurt School, nineteenth- and twentieth-century German philosophy, and feminism. Her work concerns the relation between the individual and the community and hence conceptions of autonomy, solidarity, and recognition, along with notions of collective agency, collective consciousness and collective responsibility. She is particularly interested in Nancy Fraser’s three-dimensional and Axel Honneth’s recognition theoretical approaches to justice, as well as the latter’s appropriation of Hegel and, increasingly, of Marx to provide an account of justice that remains faithful to an original Frankfurt School programme. Dagmar is also investigating the notion and possibility of cosmopolitan solidarity, drawing on aspects of Honneth’s notion of solidarity and Habermas’ account of solidarity between strangers.

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