New book: Race and the Politics of Solidarity


Race and the Politics of Solidarity
Juliet Hooker

Solidarity--the reciprocal relations of trust and obligation between citizens
that are essential for a thriving polity--is a basic goal of all political
communities. Yet it is extremely difficult to achieve, especially in
multiracial societies. In an era of increasing global migration and
democratization, that issue is more pressing than perhaps ever before. In the
past few decades, racial diversity and the problems of justice that often
accompany it have risen dramatically throughout the world. It features
prominently nearly everywhere: from the United States, where it has been a
perennial social and political problem, to Europe, which has experienced an
unprecedented influx of Muslim and African immigrants, to Latin America, where
the rise of vocal black and indigenous movements has brought the question to
the fore.
Political theorists have long wrestled with the topic of political solidarity,
but they have not had much to say about the impact of race on such solidarity,
except to claim that what is necessary is to move beyond race. The prevailing
approach has been: How can a multicultural and multiracial polity, with all of
the different allegiances inherent in it, be transformed into a unified,
liberal one? Juliet Hooker flips this question around. In multiracial and
multicultural societies, she argues, the practice of political solidarity has
been indelibly shaped by the social fact of race. The starting point should
thus be the existence of racialized solidarity itself: How can we create
political solidarity when racial and cultural diversity are more or less
permanent? Unlike the tendency to claim that the best way to deal with the
problem of racism is to abandon the concept of race altogether, Hooker stresses
the importance of coming to terms with racial injustice, and explores the role
that it plays in both the United States and Latin America. Coming to terms with
the lasting power of racial identity, she contends, is the starting point for
any political project attempting to achieve solidarity.
Product Details
240 pages; 6 1/8 X 9 1/4; ISBN13: 978-0-19-533536-1ISBN10: 0-19-533536-8
About the Author(s)

Juliet Hooker is currently Assistant Professor of Government at the University
of Texas at Austin. She has published numerous book chapters in edited volumes
and journal articles that span Political Theory and Latin American Politics,
with a special focus on Theories of Multiculturalism, Latin American Political
Thought, and Afro-descendant and Indigenous Politics in Latin America.

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