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Article

Access_open Welcoming the Other in a Pandemic Society

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Discourse, Solidarity, Poststructuralism, Levinas, Derrida
Authors Thomas Jacobus de Jong and Carina van de Wetering
AbstractAuthor's information

    This contribution explores the meaning and scope of solidarity with the emergence of the coronavirus discourse as formulated by politicians in order to make sense of the virus. It offers a poststructuralist account drawing on discourse theory together with insights from Levinas and Derrida. This leads to a critical reflection on the prevailing view of solidarity as secondary and derivative to corona policies, because solidarity is often subjugated to hegemonic meanings of efficiency. Instead, the argument is made that solidarity refers to the unique responsibility to which the other as wholly other commands me. This appeal for responsibility, that is presented in the face of the other, is to be assumed in the distance between the rules and the singularity of the situation. Accordingly, solidarity is described as a paradox of dependence (calculability) and independence (beyond calculation), that appears in a moment of undecidability, for it can never be overcome.


Thomas Jacobus de Jong
Thomas Jacobus de Jong is senior parketsecretaris at the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service (OM).

Carina van de Wetering
Carina van de Wetering is Lecturer in International Relations at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University.
Article

Access_open Solidarity and Community

From the Politics of the Clan to Constituent Power

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Solidarity, Community, COVID-19 pandemic, Humanity, Ethnocentrism
Authors Luigi Corrias
AbstractAuthor's information

    What is at stake in invoking solidarity in legal-political contexts? The guiding hypothesis of this article is that solidarity is always and necessarily linked to the concept of community. A plea for solidarity will, in other words, directly lead one to the question: solidarity with whom? On the one hand, solidarity may be understood as extending only to those who belong to the same community as us. In this reading, solidarity builds upon an already existing community and applies to members only. On the other hand, invoked by those who aim to question the status quo, solidarity also plays a key role in practices of contestation. In these contexts, it focuses on collective action and the reimagination of political community. The article ends by articulating how this second interpretation of solidarity might prove helpful in making sense of our current predicament of a global pandemic.


Luigi Corrias
Luigi Corrias is Assistant Professor of Legal Philosophy, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
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