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Solidarity and Social Change 

Robin Zheng (Yale-NUS)


I propose a new concept of solidarity, which I call “solidarity from below,” that highlights an aspect of solidarity that is widely recognized in popular uses of the term, but which has hitherto been neglected in the philosophical literature. Solidarity from below is the collective ability of the powerless masses to organize themselves for transformative social change. I situate this concept with respect to four distinct but intertwined questions that have motivated extant theorizing about solidarity. I explain what it means to conceptualize solidarity from below as a form of power, rather than as a feeling, disposition, duty, or scheme of social arrangements. Finally, I suggest that the moral-relational aspects of solidarity often emerge secondarily from the process of collective power, and not the other way around.


This event will be broadcast live from Senate House via Zoom. If you choose to attend in person please adhere to the University of London guidance to wear face coverings at all times while in the building and maintain social distancing whenever possible. 


For those who intend to join virtually the link to the zoom meeting will be emailed to you upon registration. 


The Institute of Philosophy hosts a regular workshop series entitled ‘The Practical, the Political, and the Ethical’.
The series was created in 2015 by Véronique Munoz-Dardé (UCL) and Hallvard Lillehammer (Birkbeck) in order to discuss work in progress from visiting speakers. This year the series is convened by Mollie Gerver
 (Essex) and Jonathan Gingerich (KCL).  Talks are normally 50 minutes (no pre-circulation of the paper), followed by discussion. All are welcome.