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Print Price: $175.00

496 pp.
153 mm x 234 mm


Publication date:
May 2017

Imprint: OUP UK

The Strains of Commitment

The Political Sources of Solidarity in Diverse Societies

Edited by Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka

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.

Readership : Scholars and students interested in Political Theory, and Political Philosophy.

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

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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).

Making Sense in the Social Sciences - Margot Northey, Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese
Criminal Law and Cultural Diversity - Edited by Will Kymlicka, Claes Lernestedt and Matt Matravers

Special Features

  • Fills an important gap in the existing literature on solidarity.
  • Features contributions from leading scholars in the field.
  • Examines solidarity and the mechanisms by which it can be enhanced or diminished.