6 May 2019

On 16 May Professor Engin Isin delivered a keynote lecture on “Acts of solidarity: citizens, noncitizens, and international law” at “The Contentious Politics of Solidarity" conference. 

This conference, organised by the Center for Social Movement Studies in Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence, examined the contestation of acts of solidarity by counter-movements and the state, as well as on resistance to it by migrant and pro-migrant movements.

Engin's lecture began with remarks from Michel Foucault dating from 1979 and 1981 when he made a case for international citizenship as a solidarity with displaced people. Engin argued that Foucault's conception of international citizenship needs expanding from those who already have the right to express hospitality to those who move (voluntarily or involuntarilty). When people move international law allows to take very limited rights with them. In many cases those who move remain subjects without rights, or are treated as such by states: with hostility. Some citizens resist this hostility and show solidarity with those who are rendered without rights (noncitizens), but with limited success. Moreover, citizens increasingly find themselves prosecuted by their states. Engin concluded his talk by thus questioning whether international law can be pushed in the direction of describing these acts as acts of solidarity rather than crime.

Read more on the conference here: http://cosmos.sns.it/all-events/the-contentious-politics-of-solidarity/