The Oxford English Dictionary defines solidarity as “the fact or quality, on the part of communities, etc., of being perfectly united or at one in some respect, esp. in interests, sympathies, or aspirations.” In the context of migration, solidarity is often equated with migrant support and refugee help: i.e. migrant solidarity refers to the idea of citizens assisting and encouraging migrants and refugees in their attempt to participate in communal and societal life on various levels (e.g., social, political, cultural, etc.). While refugee support can have different motives, ranging from a (seemingly altruistic) moral and humanitarian urge to help to political activism, recent studies in the field of solidarity research have argued that such practices of solidarity always represent some form of political action and resistance (Fleischmann 2020; Fleischmann and Steinhilper 2017; García Augustín and Jørgensen 2019). The political dimension of practices of migrant solidarity can, for example, be seen in various movements that arose from different political situations such as the phenomenon of (German) welcome culture during the long summer of migration in 2015 as well as the global movement #StandwithUkraine, including the numerous peace demonstrations organized worldwide, which immediately followed Russia’s attack of Ukraine in February 2022.
⇢ see also Agency, Attitudes, beliefs, and values, Conviviality, Empowerment, Integration, Narratives on migration, Stories of migration, Welcome culture
References and further reading:
Bachmann-Medick, Doris, and Jens Kugele. 2018. “Introduction: Migration – Frames, Regimes, Concepts.” In Migration: Changing Concepts, Critical Approaches, edited by Doris Bachmann-Medick and Jens Kugele, 1–18. Berlin and Boston, MA: De Gruyter.
Fleischmann, Larissa. 2020. Contested Solidarity: Practices of Refugee Support between Humanitarian Help and Political Activism. Bielefeld: transcript.
Fleischmann, Larissa, and Elias Steinhilper. 2017. “The Myth of Apolitical volunteering for Refugees: German Welcome Culture and a New Dispositif of Helping.” Social Inclusion 5.3: 17–27.
García Augustín, Oscár, and Martin Bak Jørgensen. 2019. Solidarity and the ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Europe. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
Work Package: 2, 4, 5