Solidarity, Immigration and Social Class

Lecture by Lea Ypi at the Otto Suhr Institute for Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin

Progressive scepticism about immigration  takes both a pragmatic and a principled form. The pragmatic argument appeals to strategic necessity, on the face of the constraints of electoral politics in representative democracies. The principled position, on the other hand, is related to what has been called the progressives’ dilemma: the alleged trade-off between openness to immigration and support for the welfare state. Large-scale immigration, so the argument goes, exacerbates both the distributive and cultural conflicts that lead to an erosion of social justice in the long run. 

So far, the response to the progressive dilemma has been to take seriously the nation-state model of solidarity and to seek ways to incorporate its challenges of so as to adapt that model to the circumstances of contemporary politics. The two most prominent avenues are what one might call multicultural solidarity, on the one hand, and supranational solidarity, on the other. In this paper I want to defend a third model, what I will call class-based solidarity. I argue that class-based solidarity offers a more attractive response to the progressive dilemma, illustrate how it relates to the notions of political community we are familiar with and conclude by responding to a few objections. 

Lea Ypi is Professor in Political Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Adjunct Professor in Philosophy at the Australian National University. A native of Albania, she has degrees in Philosophy and in Literature from the University of Rome La Sapienza and she completed her PhD at the European University Institute. Prior to joining the LSE, she was a research fellow at Oxford University, the Italian Institute for Historical Studies and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin. She is the author of Global Justice and Avant-Garde Political Agency, and, with Jonathan White, The Meaning of Partisanship, both published by Oxford University Press. She hasco-edited Migration in Political Theory (Oxford University Press 2016, with Sarah Fine) and Kant and Colonialism (Oxford University Press 2015, with Katrin Flikschuh). Her work has been translated in a number of languages and has been awarded the British Academy Prize for Excellence in Political Science.

The event is part of the lecture series "Rechtskritik als Gesellschaftstheorie" at the Centre for Politics and Law.

Venue

Freie Universität Berlin
Otto-Suhr-Institut für Politikwissenschaft
Ihnestr. 21
Hörsaal A

Further informations: judith.moellhoff(at)fu-berlin(dot)de

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