Within the frame of the new European institutional cycle, the discussion of European solidarity is a core issue to be addressed by member states and the European institutions, with increasing political stakes during recent crises. Yet, solidarity not only plays a central role in the EU’s crisis management, but it is also a fundamental category of human relations. This presentation takes a step back from the current political debate in order to examine solidarity in a genealogical and political theory perspective. Is the principle of European solidarity, in fact, undermined by the political and legal practices that claim to realize it? If solidarity, just like liberty and equality, was a guiding ideal of the modern body politic, is it subverted in contemporary crises? Drawing on both political theory and conceptual history, Rouven Symank proposes a philosophically grounded yet policy-relevant distinction of two ideal-typical conceptions of solidarity. This distinction, in turn, provides an analytical toolkit for further analyses and allows one to frame distinct shifts of solidarity during the so-called migration crisis and the European debt crisis. Given that solidarity is a widely used concept in the 21st century and that recent crises have challenged the liberal political institutions of the EU to their core, it is all the more crucial to better understand the contemporary issue of solidarity in the light of its history.
This event will take place online. Please register to receive the Zoom link.
Rouven Symank (EUI – SPS)
Prof. Daniele Caramani (European Governance and Politics Programme – EUI)