"Enacting Solidarity and Citizenship" - ESA Porto August 2024


In the last two decades, the multiplication of crises has increased the challenges for Europe: While the nation-states dominating the European project have hardly been able to find adequate responses to the turmoil, new forms of practicing solidarity and citizenship have been growing at the local level. In this Research Stream, we therefore address contemporary local, city-based initiatives and their responses to the poly-crises. We start from the assumption that research addressing the local scale and its multi-scalar entanglements can help address the pressing challenges of our time. Focusing on scales entails that we investigate how social relations are forged between actors and authorities in different governance structures which can be in conflict with the state level and become an alternative to the ‘nationed geographies’. Taking the notion of sanctuary cities as an example, we can here see a rescaling of the border toward the urban (or local) scale, involving local authorities and non-state actors in urban space. Furthermore, we want to focus the discussion on the little-addressed challenge of developing intersectional strategies, networks beyond borders and new state/civil society-relations. 

We are thereby dealing with the following questions:

  • How does political activism and organizing work at city and neighborhood level?
  • How can different social fields be linked?
  • How do local initiatives succeed in networking with initiatives from other localities?
  • In how far can we observe new or transforming state/civil society-relations?

We welcome abstracts that address these questions with empirical and/or theoretical studies, including a focus on social fields such as migrant rights, housing, care work, and others, and their linkages.

As part of the Research Stream, we are considering organizing panels with, among others, the following key issues, although other thematic groupings are also possible:

1)     "Enacting solidarity and citizenship 'from below': transversal and translocal relations" 
(Chair: Donatella della Porta and Mojca Panič). 

2)     "Urban re-articulations of state and civil society: cases of new municipalism" 
(Chair: Oscar García Agustín and Martin Bak Jørgensen) 

3)     "Care as a cross-cutting concept: practices, communities and struggles of care at urban scales" (Chair: Sarah Schilliger and Helge Schwiertz)


27 August 2024 – 30 August 2024