Solidarity as Translation

The project analyses new forms of solidarity in transnational social movements. Taking as its starting point three forms of solidarity – national solidarity, Christian solidarity, and socialist solidarity – it develops the thesis that a translation of these concepts is necessary to develop new forms of social cohesion for contemporary democracies.


According to the values of the French revolution democracy is based on liberty, equality, and solidarity. Citizens grant equal liberty to their co-citizens on the base of solidarity. In nationally defined democracies solidarity has been created by constructing a common nation on the base of a shared culture. The European Union has aimed at a similar construction on the base of shared values, hitherto, with little success.

Differently to the clearly delimitated construction of national solidarity, catholic social teaching understands solidarity as the universal task to help; here, solidarity has to be understood as closely related to brotherly love and charity. Not mutual obligation but assistance for those in need is the main feature of this concept.Socialist solidarity is derived from the concept of class struggle and understood as common fight against capitalism.

None of these concepts can be directly applied to contemporary migration societies where more and more people are subject to political decisions they cannot influence due to their lack of political rights. At the same time, elements of these three understandings of solidarity can be translated to a new concept.


Publications: Monika Mokre


Fundamental considerations on this topic and possibilities of practical applicability were published in the monograph “Solidarität als Übersetzung, Überlegungen zum Refugee Protest Camp Vienna” (transversal, 2015)

In the framework of this project, in spring 2016, M. Mokre was invited as a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Political Science of the University of Vienna to teach on “Asylum and Migration Politics of the EU”.

An English article on the theme is currently under preparation and will be published in a volume of the IMISCOE book series: "Taking Side. Protests against deportations, solidarity protests, restrictive protests". Link

A second monograph is planned for the end of 2016. It will approach the thematic complex of democracy, solidarity, and the state out of a theoretical perspective. (Bruell, C./ Mokre M., Postmarxistisches Staatsverständnissse. Baden-Baden: Nomos, Reihe Staatsverständnisse, Hg. von Rüdiger Voigt)