Workshop Concepts of Dedications, University of Geneva, Webinaire
November 27-28, 2020
More than ever, Governments, associations and individuals call for solidarity. Most of the time, the term is not explained, as there seems to be a very general understanding of it, namely as a way of thinking and acting for others. In this context, it is fascinating to reflect on the concept of solidarity and to explore how it differs from other forms of dedication such as devotion, emergency aid, altruism, humanitarianism, philanthropy, etc. This investigation is all the more important given that, curiously, even in scholarly research these terms are often considered self-evident and are, therefore, little explained.
Consequently, the purpose of this Concepta workshop is to explore concepts related to dedication. It is not only a matter of distinguishing the terms which refer to the idea of dedication, but of tracking their respective evolutions, both in terms of content and of semantic exchanges or mutations. The aim of the workshop is to clarify the situation, and above all, to define the special place occupied by the concept of solidarity among all the concepts referring to help to others. This workshop should not only offer a more solid conceptual basis for work in this field, but also shed a new light on relevant practices and ambitions surrounding values often considered as universal and absolute – especially nowadays.
The event is part of a research funded by the Swiss National Foundation, and devoted to the concept of solidarity around 1980 -- that is to say when the Solidarność union was founded, when the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (considered as solidarity rights) was written, and, when the whole world (re)appropriated the concept of solidarity itself, long prized by the Soviet Union.