The Strains of Commitment: The Political Sources of Solidarity in Diverse Societies

ISBN : 9780198795452

Will Kymlicka; Keith Banting
496 ページ
153 x 234 mm

Building and sustaining solidarity is a compelling challenge, especially in ethnically and religiously diverse societies. Recent research has concentrated on forces that trigger backlash and exclusion. The Strains of Commitment examines the politics of diversity in the opposite direction, exploring the potential sources of support for an inclusive solidarity, in particular political sources of solidarity. The volume asks three questions: Is solidarity really necessary for successful modern societies? Is diversity really a threat to solidarity? And what types of political communities, political agents, and political institutions and policies help sustain solidarity in contexts of diversity? To answer these questions, the volume brings together leading scholars in both normative political theory and empirical social science. Drawing on in-depth case studies, historical and comparative research, and quantitative cross-national studies, the research suggests that solidarity does not emerge spontaneously or naturally from economic and social processes but is inherently built or eroded though political action. The politics that builds inclusive solidarity may be conflicting in the first instance, but the resulting solidarity is sustained over time when it becomes incorporated into collective (typically national) identities and narratives, when it is reinforced on a recurring basis by political agents, and - most importantly - when it becomes embedded in political institutions and policy regimes. While some of the traditional political sources of solidarity are being challenged or weakened in an era of increased globalization and mobility, the authors explore the potential for new political narratives, coalitions, and policy regimes to sustain inclusive solidarity.


1: Introduction: The Political Sources of Solidarity in Diverse Societies, Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka
Section One: The Political Theory of Solidarity
2: Solidarity and its Sources, David Miller
3: Citizenship and Collective Identities as Political Sources of Solidarity in the European Union, Rainer Bauböck
4: Against Fraternity: Democracy without Solidarity, Jacob T. Levy
Section Two: Public Attitudes on Diversity and Solidarity
5: Tension Between the Elites and the Masses in Germany, Céline Teney and Marc Helbling
6: Diversity and Solidarity: New Evidence from Canada and the US, Richard Johnston, Matthew Wright, Stuart Soroka, and Jack Citrin
7: Conceptions of Citizenship and Tolerance Towards Immigrants: A Comparative Study of Public Opinion Data, Tim Reeskens and Wim van Oorschot
Section Three: The Politics of Diversity and Solidarity
8: The Political Sources of Social Solidarity, Peter A. Hall
9: The Electoral Politics of Solidarity: The Welfare Agendas of Radical Right Parties, Zoe Lefkofridi and Elie Michel
10: Making Xenophobia Matter: The Consequences of the 2002 Elections for Immigration Politics in the Netherlands, Edward Koning
11: Solidarity, Diversity, and the Quality of Government, Bo Rothstein
12: Solidarity and Conflict: Understanding the Causes and Consequences of Access to Citizenship, Civic Integration Policies, and Multiculturalism, Irene Bloemraad
13: Diversity and Solidarity in Denmark and Sweden, Karin Borevi
14: Belgium: A Hard Case for Liberal Nationalism?, Patrick Loobuyck and Dave Sinardet
Section Four: Concluding Commentary
15: Concluding Reflections: Solidarity, Diversity, and Social Justice, Philippe Van Parijs


Keith Banting is the Stauffer Dunning Fellow in the School of Policy Studies and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Studies at Queen's University in Canada. His publications include Multiculturalism and the Welfare State (co-edited with Will Kymlicka, 2006, OUP), and Inequality and the Fading Redistributive Politics (co-edited with John Myles, 2013, University of British Columbia Press). ; Will Kymlicka is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at Queen's University in Canada. His publications include International Approaches to Governing Approaches to Ethnic Diversity (co-edited with Jane Boulden, 2015, OUP), Criminal Law and Cultural Diversity (co-edited with Claes Lernestedt and Matt Matravers, 2014, OUP), Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights (with Sue Donaldson, 2011, OUP), Multicultural Odysseys: Navigating the New International Politics of Diversity (2007, OUP), and Multiculturalism and the Welfare State (co-edited with Will Kymlicka, 2006, OUP).