Understanding Solidarity (With a Little Help from Your Friends): Response to Dawson and Verweij

- Public Health Ethics
Author/s: -Prainsack, Barbara -Buyx, Alena
Journal: Public Health Ethics
Year: 2012
Volume: 5
Issue: 2
Pages: 206-210

In this paper we respond to Angus Dawson’s and Marcel Verweij’s recent editorial on ‘Solidarity: A Moral Concept in need of Clarification’. While Dawson’s and Verweij’s call for a broader solidarity-based research agenda is highly timely, their critique of our Report on ‘Solidarity as an Emerging Concept in Bioethics’ (2011) is based on some mistaken assumptions and misinterpretations of our arguments. These are (1) a fundamental misunderstanding of the importance of practice in our conceptualisation of solidarity; (2) a misinterpreration of the normativity of our concept; and (3) a misrepresentation of our case study of public policy in the context of pandemics and in turn, of the relevance of our concept for policy-making. We correct each of these and in a final section we comment on the model of rational and constitutive solidarity put forward by Dawson and Verweij as an alternative to our conception of solidarity.

URL: http://phe.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/2/206.abstract