Political Solidarity, Justice and Public Health

Public Health Ethics 6 (2):129-141 (2013)
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n this paper, I argue that political solidarity is important to justice. At its core, political solidarity is a relational concept. To be in a relation of political solidarity, is to be in a relation of connection or unity with one’s fellow citizens. I argue that fellow citizens can be said to stand in such a relation when they have attitudes of collective identification, mutual respect, mutual trust, and mutual support and loyalty toward one another. I argue that political solidarity, so conceived, is an integral element of a theory of justice. I argue that there are distinctly social bases for political solidarity and that justice requires that we promote these. Furthermore, as an example of the sort of social and political arrangements that might encourage political solidarity, I discuss Canada’s response to the recent H1N1 pandemic and the failings of this response with respect to members of the Aboriginal community within Canada. I argue that ensuring that members of the Aboriginal community had equal access to the goods they needed to protect themselves against H1N1 infection would have promoted relations of political solidarity and, in turn, would have promoted justice more effectively.

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Meena Krishnamurthy
Queen's University