Affective and calculative solidarity: The impact of individualism and neoliberal capitalism

European Journal of Social Theory 23 (2):238-257 (2020)
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Abstract

This article examines the ways in which the self-responsibilized individualism underpinning contemporary concepts of the ideal European citizen, on the one hand (Frericks, 2014), and the inequalities and anti-democratic politics that characterize contemporary neoliberal capitalism, on the other, are co-constituent elements in creating an antipathy to forms of solidarity that are affective as opposed to calculative. The active citizenship framework lacks a full appreciation of the interdependency of the human condition and is antithetical to universalistic, affectively-led forms of solidarity. The deep relationality that is endemic to both social production and reproduction, and that impels an affective, morally-led form of solidarity needs to be recognized academically and intellectually, and politically sustained, if we are to move beyond a narrow, calculative, self-interested vision of solidarity in Europe.

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