Solidarity and citizenship are intertwined in a very complex manner, where the former usually operates as the “social glue” for the latter, holding together its formal components such as rights, duties, and membership criteria. The “we” that sets the parameters for membership and equality is not only legally defined but also discursively produced and maintained. Here, the rhetoric of solidarity plays an important yet ambiguous role, as it can advocate for interdependence and full inclusion while at the same time solidifying the exclusionary “we.” The aim of this article is to show how solidarity reasoning—the question of with whom we should be solidary and why—plays a functional role in maintaining citizenship agendas, and how this reasoning changes to support and enable shifts in these agendas. The dominant solidarity narratives that have supported prevailing citizenship agendas in Serbia (and across the post-Yugoslav space) over the last couple of decades will be discussed, as will counter-narratives that have served to destabilize hegemonic agendas by envisioning citizenship communities differently. Today, the ambiguous role solidarity can play within a citizenship agenda becomes especially obvious in neoliberal regimes, where, as I will show in the case of contemporary Serbia, calls for solidarity can be deployed to foster very distinct, arguably mutually opposing, kinds of political subjectivities and citizen activism.
Jelena Vasiljević, Solidarity Reasoning and Citizenship Agendas: From Socialist Yugoslavia to Neoliberal Serbia, East European Politics and Societies: and Cultures, 2020.