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Banting & Kymlicka - The Strains of Commitment

Banting, K., & Kymlicka, W. (Eds.) (2017). The Strains of Commitment: The Political Sources of Solidarity in Diverse Societies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0-19-879545-2

This edited collection examines the efforts to build and sustain solidarity in ethnically and religiously diverse societies. The contributions to the volume attempt to provide answers to three questions: (1) Is solidarity necessary for successful modern societies? (2) Is diversity really a threat to solidarity? (3) What types of political communities, political agents, and political institutions and policies help sustain solidarity in contexts of diversity? The chapters, written by leading scholars in normative political theory and empirical social science, draw on in-depth case studies, historical and comparative research, and quantitative cross-national studies. The research suggests that solidarity does not emerge spontaneously or naturally from economic and social processes but is inherently built or eroded through political action. Solidarity built on political action is sustained over time when it becomes incorporated into collective (typically national) identities and narratives, when it is reinforced on a recurring basis by political agents, and - most importantly - when it becomes embedded in political institutions and policy regimes. While some of the traditional political sources of solidarity are being challenged or weakened in an era of increased globalisation and mobility, the authors explore the potential for new political narratives, coalitions, and policy regimes to sustain inclusive solidarity.

Banting & Kymlicka “The Strains of Commitment: The Political Sources of Solidarity in Diverse Societies”