Friday, 2 August 2013

TCD conf on international solidarity

Call for papers - TCD conference Dec 6 2013

International Solidarity: Practices, problems, possibilities

Department of Sociology
School or Social Sciences and Philosophy
Trinity College Dublin

International Solidarity: Practices, problems, possibilities

One day Conference.
Trinity College Dublin, December 6, 2013.

Keynote speaker:
Peter Waterman (formerly working on labour and social movements, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague; currently working with NetworkedUnionism (Amsterdam), DemocraciaGlobal (Lima, Peru), Interface: Journal on and for Social Movements (Dublin), World Social Forum; initiator of exchange on Social Movement Unionism)

What do we mean by ‘international solidarity’ and what role do solidarity groups play domestically and internationally? This one day conference will bring together researchers and practitioners in solidarity groups in Ireland and abroad to discuss these questions. The conference is hosted by the Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin.

In an increasingly globalised world, social movements are becoming more transnational. However while research on the more established NGOs and aid agencies has grown in parallel to the growth of transnational movements, solidarity movements - despite their political significance - remain under-researched. This conference aims to close the gap and further research and discussion in this field.

In Ireland, there has long been a tradition of international political solidarity, from Irish support given to the Boers in turn-of-the century South Africa, to the somewhat different support shown to the anti-apartheid movement in the 1970s and 1980s. The Spanish civil war where hundreds of Irish people went to fight in solidarity both with Franco and with the Republican government starkly illustrates the different meanings people ascribe to solidarity.

The meaning of solidarity has also changed over time. There has been a shift from the ‘third worldist’ approach of the 1960s and 70s, which supported the leaders of third world countries and liberation struggles, to a more modern concept of solidarity directed towards the oppressed within these countries, a solidarity which emphasizes grassroots civil society struggles and human rights concerns. 

This one-day conference aims to look at the changing world of solidarity and the work of solidarity organizations, discussing both the case of Ireland and solidarity issues elsewhere.

We invite papers and panel discussions that address the basic questions of what international solidarity is and what it does. Some guiding questions are as follows:
·           What do we mean by solidarity as a concept?
·           Is effective international solidarity possible?
·           What are the larger socio-political issues which international solidarity raises?  
·           How meaningful is international solidarity in the domestic sphere - what relationships are created between solidarity groups, and domestic governments & publics?
·           How and why has the practice of international solidarity changed over time and between groups?

While these broad questions are often lost in the day-to-day challenges that solidarity groups face, they remain relevant issues for these groups. Thus one aim of the conference is to provide a space for practitioners as well as academics to participate and to discuss the wider issues surrounding international solidarity

The keynote speaker is Peter Waterman, a long-term activist and researcher into trade union and global solidarity organizations, and author of the recent Recovering Internationalism, Creating the New Global Solidarity.

It is hoped that this event will be the first of other collaborative efforts, as well as a means to identify further research areas within the field. The conference aims to encourage outreach and ongoing dialogue between academics and practitioners. The conference will be open to members of the public, especially to those interested and involved in international solidarity groups and activities.  On the academic front, speakers will include Irish and foreign sociologists and political scientists in the fields of social movement studies, peace studies and development studies. It is aimed to publish the conference proceedings in an accessible format online.

The cost of the conference will be 50 euro for waged. 15 euro for unwaged/students

For more information, and if you would like to participate, please send an abstract (up to 200 words) for individual papers or panel discussions to conference organiser Dr David Landy at (ph: +353 1 8962766)  by Monday, September 23rd.