This research network aims to explore innovative forms of solidarity in diversity and the conditions under which they can be nurtured. The underlying assumption is that the concept of solidarity needs to be rethought and reformulated in spatiotemporal frames that look beyond the territorial nation state to solidarity practices hic et nunc. In the course of the next five years, this scientific research network will stimulate inter-disciplinary and cross-national dialogue around the appropriate theoretical and methodological tools to study such innovative forms of solidarity in diversity. On the one hand, we will critically question the ‘loss of community argument’ by re-examining the potential of classical sociological theories to come up with alternative sources of solidarity in diversity and by exploring how cultural differences can be bridged through democratic learning, community building and pedagogical interventions. On the other hand, we will investigate a more dynamic understanding of ‘citizenship as practice’ and the related importance of places as sites for the everyday negotiation of diverse subjects’ claims. As such, the scientific research community will be structured around two inter-related and interdisciplinary themes: 1.) learning solidarity through community building and 2.) practicing citizenship in place.


Stijn Oosterlynck