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International Solidarity: Practices, problems, possibilities

About the conference

Keynote participants at the event will be Jack O'Connor, President of SIPTU and also President of Justice for Colombia, and Peter Waterman, author of the recently published book Recovering Internationalism, Creating the New Global Solidarity.

What do we mean by ‘international solidarity’ and what role do solidarity groups play domestically and internationally? This one day conference will bring together researchers and practitioners in solidarity groups in Ireland and abroad to discuss these questions. In an increasingly globalised world, social movements are becoming more transnational. However while research on the more established NGOs and aid agencies has grown in parallel to the growth of transnational movements, solidarity movements - despite their political significance - remain under-researched. This conference aims to close the gap and further research and discussion in this field.
The guiding questions for the conference are:

  • What do we mean by solidarity as a concept?
  • Is effective international solidarity possible?
  • What are the larger socio-political issues which international solidarity raises?
  • How meaningful is international solidarity in the domestic sphere - what relationships are created between solidarity groups, and domestic governments & publics?
  • How and why has the practice of international solidarity changed over time and between groups?

While these broad questions are often lost in the day-to-day challenges that solidarity groups face, they remain relevant issues for these groups. Thus one aim of the conference is to provide a space for practitioners as well as academics to participate and to discuss the wider issues surrounding international solidarity. The keynote speaker is Peter Waterman, author of the recent Recovering Internationalism, Creating the New Global Solidarity.

The cost of the conference is 40 euro for waged or 15 euro for unwaged/students
This includes the cost of lunch and tea/coffee throughout the day.

Date: December 6, 2013 (09.00-18.00)
From 09.00
The Institute for International Integration Studies (IIIS) Seminar Room, 6th Floor Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Hosted By: The Department of Sociology TCD in association with the Institute for International Integration Studies (IIIS), Trinity College Dublin
Funded By: The Department of Sociology and the Arts and Social Sciences Benefactions Fund, TCD


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Programme Overview and Registration

Programme Overview

  • The full programme with presentation abstracts is available to download here

  • Please download Registration Form here

  • The cost of the conference is
    40 euro for waged.
    15 euro for unwaged/students
    This includes the cost of lunch and tea/coffee throughout the day


Keynote participants at the event will be Jack O'Connor, President of SIPTU and also President of Justice for Colombia, and Peter Waterman, author of the recently published book Recovering Internationalism, Creating the New Global Solidarity.

9.00: Registration

09.30-10.40: Keynote
Recovering Internationalism: Creating the New Global Solidarity
Peter Waterman: Networked Unionism, Amsterdam and Democracia Global Lima, Peru


11.00-12.30: Practices and spaces of solidarity

Practices of solidarity: opposing apartheid in the centre of London
Gavin Brown and Helen Yaffe, Department of Geography, University of Leicester

Building a Solidarity Network with Colombia
Jose Gutierrez: Latin American Solidarity Centre, Dublin

Wide Casting: 5 Broken Cameras and the Expansion of the Palestinian Solidarity Movement
Anna Bernard, Department of English and Comparative Literature, King's College London

12.30-13.15: Lunch

13.15-15.15: Problems of solidarity activism

On Global Solidarity: Some Conceptual Problems
Ayca Cubukcu, Department of Sociology and the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, LSE

‘Putting the blinkers on’: Partiality and Palestinian solidarity
Richard Irvine and David Landy: Palestine Education Initiative and Department of Sociology, TCDublin

International Solidarity with Palestine and Colonial Oppression-Walking the Thin Line between the Two
Elaine Bradley: Department of Sociology, TCD


15.30-16.45: Solidarity as response to crisis

International solidarity in resistance to the Shell Corrib Gas Project
Donal O'Driscoll and Jerrieann Sullivan:Rossport Solidarity Camp

The Construction of Solidarities and the Politicisation of the Crisis
David Featherstone:School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow
17.00-18.00: Plenary: Where to from here?

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Anna Bernard is Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature at King’s College London. She is the author of Rhetorics of Belonging: Nation, Narration, and Israel/Palestine (Liverpool UP, 2013) and co-editor of Debating Orientalism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and What Postcolonial Theory Doesn't Say (Routledge, 2014). Her work on the relationship between Israel/Palestine studies and postcolonial studies and the transnational representation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has appeared in Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Interventions, New Formations, Journal for Cultural Research, and Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics. Her current research considers the use of cultural forms of advocacy in metropolitan solidarity movements.

Elaine Bradley
is conducting doctoral research into “Women’s Digital Resistance to the Occupation in Palestine” in Trinity College, Dublin. Her research draws on her experience as an activist and practitioner who has lived and worked in the occupied Palestinian territories, and reflects her interest in the colonial discourse on Palestine, power and resistance. Elaine’s activism spans almost 30 years, with a focus on rights, justice and anti-militarism. She is a veteran of many solidarity campaigns and of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp and Women for Disarmament.

Gavin Brown
is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Leicester. He is principal investigator on the “Non-Stop Against Apartheid: spaces of transnational solidarity activism” research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust (see ). In addition to recording the history of the Non-Stop Picket of the South African Embassy (1986-90), this project rethinks how solidarity is produced through situated practices and spatial relations. The project investigates the impact of performing ‘non-stop’ activism on participants’ lives (both at the time and subsequently). This builds on his earlier theorisation of emotional sustainability in social movements. Gavin has also published widely on the geographies of contemporary gay life and is co-editor of the collection Geographies of Sexualities (Ashgate, 2007). In particular, he is well-known for his ethnographic study of radical queer activist networks (in London and internationally) in the early 2000s.

Ayça Cubukcu
is Assistant Professor in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Previously, she taught for the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University and the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies at Harvard University. Dr Cubukcu is co-editor of Jadaliyya's Turkey Page and leads a research group on Internationalism, Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Solidarity at LSE.

Hilary Darcy
is completing doctoral research on social movements and state violence in the Republic of Ireland at the Department of Sociology NUI Maynooth. Her research investigates the policing of the Corrib Gas protests, North County Mayo in a historical and comparative context. Her research and teaching interests include critical pedagogy, participatory research methods and the theory and practice of social movements.

David Featherstone
is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Glasgow. He is interested in understanding the construction of solidarities in both the past and present and with diverse forms of internationalism forged 'from below'. He is the author of Resistance Space and Political: the Making of Counter-Global Networks (Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, 2008), Solidarity: Hidden Histories and Geographies of Internationalism (London, Zed, 2012) and co-editor with Joe Painter of Spatial Politics: Essays for Doreen Massey (Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

Jose Antonio Gutierrez D
., studied anthropology and archaeology in Universidad de Chile and he is MSc in Equality Studies at UCD. He has worked for years as Research and Development Officer at the Latin American Solidarity Centre, has devoted years to student and labour activism and has vast experience working with rural communities and associations in Colombia. He was one of the co-organisers of the conference "Geopolitics of Conflict: Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Kurdistan and Colombia", TCD, April 2012. He is a member of the Dublin-based Colombia solidarity group Grupo Raices, Grupa Feaamhacha. He is a frequent contributor to Chilean newspaper El Ciudadano, the Colombian magazine CEPA, and, and He is also author of "Problemas e Possibilidades do Anarquismo" (Brazil, Faisca ed., 2011) and coordinator of the book "Orígenes Libertarios del Primero de Mayo en America Latina" (Chile, Quimantú ed. 2010).

Richard Irvine
lectures on the Israel-Palestine Conflict at Queen's University.  An activist, he has worked voluntarily in Lebanon and Palestine, and is co-ordinator of the Palestine Education Initiative and former Education Officer of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Initially from a humanities background he holds qualifications in Literature, History, Education and Human Rights Law.

David Landy
is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology in Trinity College Dublin. His research and teaching interests concern the politics of ethnicity and identity; transnational social movements (in particular the tension between the object of activism and activists themselves); and Israel/Palestine. His academic work is informed by and informs his involvement in solidarity work, and he has served (2009-2010) as the chair of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. He has published on human rights discourse in solidarity groups, on study trips to Israel/Palestine, and on diaspora Jewish opposition to Israel. His recent book is Jewish Identity and Palestinian Rights: Diaspora Jewish Opposition to Israel. (Zed Books. 2011)

Donal O’Driscoll is an independent researcher and author, based in the UK,  has over two decades of experience in grassroots campaigning, and resided at the Rossport Solidarity Campaign for a number of years.

Peter Waterman Formerly working on labour and social movements, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague; currently working with Networked Unionism (Amsterdam), Democracia Global (Lima, Peru), Interface: Journal on and for Social Movements (Dublin), World Social Forum; initiator of exchange on Social Movement Unionism

Helen Yaffe is the Research Associate on the Non-Stop Against Apartheid project. She completed her PhD in the economic history department at the London School of Economics. Her thesis was adapted for publication as Che Guevara: the economics of revolutionand published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2009 is in the process of being translated into five languages. Her doctoral research was based on original archive material and extensive interviews with participants in the Cuban revolutionary movement. She has written widely on contemporary political issues in Latin America Helen previously worked as a Teaching Fellow in Latin American History at University College London and the London School of Economics.


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Last updated 3 December 2013 by IIIS (Email).