Conclusion: the future of social solidarity in an enlarged Europe: key issues and research questions

Marion Ellison

in Reinventing Social Solidarity Across Europe

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427274
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305552 | DOI:
Conclusion: the future of social solidarity in an enlarged Europe: key issues and research questions

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This chapter addresses the future for social solidarity in an enlarged Europe, drawing out and synthesizing key findings from the book and arguing that the relationship between national and transnational social solidarity across Europe reflects the social and cultural contours of European history. The asymmetry European models of social solidarity and the globalized, neo-liberal economic model lie at the heart of the problem of European integration, as recent demonstrations across Europe have revealed the paradox of individualism and inequality within neo-liberalism is that human beings experience commonality through experiences of exclusion which transcend national boundaries. The chapter concludes by presenting a unified conceptual model for the analysis of social solidarity across Europe: ‘The dialectical circularity of governance and social solidarity across Europe’. Here, it is argued that the attainment of ‘dialectical circularity’ between European governance and social solidarity depends upon the recognition of new forms of self-determination expressed through institutional social solidarities, and social movements. This entails the co-determination of transnational structural solidarity initiatives at EU level and social solidarities emerging from below, translated through multilevel institutional practices and governance models, strengthened by universal rights to health and education and a commitment to reduce inequality.

Keywords: solidarity; co-determination; self-determination; inequality; exclusion; rights; Europe; governance; integration; neo-liberalism

Chapter.  3830 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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