Solidarity and Global Health Cooperation During Covid-19 and Beyond

Barbara Prainsack and Hanna Kienzler wrote a policy paper for the current issue of Global Governance Spotlight, published by sef: Development and Health Foundation


Solidarity has been one of the most over-used terms during the Covid-19 pandemic. In many cases, the term solidarity is mentioned but not followed by any substantive action. Such expressions of solidarity, without a genuine commitment to the values and practices underpinning it, can create tangible harm. By papering over the very power differentials and inequities these expressions of solidarity pretend to address, they distract from what different people and countries have in common, and can hinder equitable distribution of resources, access to health care, mutual learning, and capacity strengthening from a position of equality. A genuinely solidaristic approach requires actors to focus firstly on what they have in common, and secondly to be willing to accept costs to support others if necessary. In this Spotlight, we explain what we mean by solidarity, argue that we are far from achieving it in our current global pandemic response, and outline ways forward that would allow for a more effective pandemic response based on practices of genuine solidarity.


Hanna Kienzler (King's College London) & Barbara Prainsack (University of Vienna)


You can download the policy paper here (please click)

Here you can also download a summary of the sef: Policy Lunch "The EU and Solidarity in Global Health Cooperation: Lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic" which took place on 18 May 2021.