Zusammenfassung und Aufzeichnungen: Solidarität in Forschung und Praxis - warum jetzt? 15.11.2018

On 15 November 2018, Professor Barbara Prainsack launched her new Centre for the Study of Contemporary Solidarity (CeSCoS) at the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna. Hosted in the heart of Vienna, the day-long event explored various aspects of solidarity in research and practice.

Executive Summary

Please find the executive summary of the event here.


Please find the programme of the event here.

 Barbara Prainsack & Alena Buyx - Welcome: Why Solidarity Now?

In their opening talk, Barbara Prainsack (University of Vienna) and Alena Buyx (TU Munich) talked about the need to debunk a general belief of solidarity as irrelevant for resolving contemporary challenges by highlighting its fundamental social embeddedness in practices aimed at collective institutional building.

 Carol Gould: Solidarity between the National and the Transnational: What do we owe to ‘Outsiders’?

In her lecture, Carol Gould, Professor of Philosophy at City University New York and member of CeSCoS Advisory Board, discussed solidarity beyond national borders. What do we owe those who are portrayed as “outsiders” in current political discourse? Should we always stand in solidarity with fellow citizens or should we equally enact solidarity with oppressed or suffering others outside our borders?

 Linsey McGoey: Solidarity, Economic Inequality and the New Politics of Wealth Distribution

In her lecture, Linsey McGoey, Associate Professor in Social Theory and Economic Sociology at the University of Essex, foregrounded the issue of social and economic justice as a key concern of scholarship on solidarity. She discussed a paradigm shift being underway in the social sciences. For at least 60 years, mainstream economic thought emphasizsed that inequality is not in itself a central component of well-being: what matters most is poverty alleviation. This belief is shifting today as the problem of in-country inequality grows more acute, leading to renewed interest in a problem that preoccupied classical political economists: the problem of rent-seeking. Professor McGoey explored the origins of the current paradigm shift, linking criticism of the ‘marginal’ turn in neoclassical theories of income distribution to earlier classical theories of economic value developed in the late 18th-century.

 David Townend: Solidarity and the Law

David Townend, Professor of Health and Life Sciences Jurisprudence at Maastricht University, kicked off the afternoon session with a presentation on the relationship between data protection laws, the use of big data in research, and the concept of solidarity.

 Bernard Dichek: Artists for Arts and Artists

Bernard Dichek, a journalist and filmmaker based in Israel, discussed artist-run initiatives as a form of contemporary solidarity. His journey through art cooperatives around the world took him from urban hubs in Berlin to remote locations such as Murmansk in Russia.

 Panel Discussion: Why do we need Solidarity?

The afternoon session concluded with a panel discussion on 'Why do we need Solidarity?' chaired by Dr Katharina Kieslich (University of Vienna). Panelists included Dr Christiane Druml (UNESCO Chair on Bioethics, Medical University of Vienna), Dr Jörg Flecker (Professor of Sociology, University of Vienna), Dr Ine van Hoyweghen (Professor at the Centre for Sociological Research, KU Leuven), Maria Hofmarcher - Holzhacker (Health systems expert, Health System Intelligence Vienna) and Dr Lukas Schlögl (Post Doc Researcher, University of Vienna). Did they think that solidarity had something to offer that other concepts and practices do not? If so, what is it? Watch the video to find out.

 Christa Schnabl: Introductory Words

The German-speaking part of the event began with a welcome address by the Vice Rector of the University of Vienna, Professor Christa Schnabl.

 Peter Dabrock: Solidarität im Zeitalter der Digitalisierung – was sie fordert und wie sie überfordert

Peter Dabrock, Professor at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg and Chairman of the German Ethics Council, rounded up the day by addressing the role of solidarity in the digital age.


Am 15. November 2018 fand die Auftaktveranstaltung der Forschungsgruppe "Zeitgenössische Solidaritätsstudien (CeSCoS)", geleitet von Professorin Barbara Prainsack, statt. Um die Forschungsgruppe und ihre Arbeit näher kennenzulernen, waren die VertreterInnen und Vertreter der Medien am 16. November 2018 herzlich zu Mediengesprächen eingeladen.



Folgende Personen standen Ihnen für Fragen und Informationen zur Verfügung:

Barbara Prainsack
Institut für Politikwissenschaft - Universität Wien
Der Umgang mit Daten stellt in unserer digitalen Gesellschaft eine zentrale Herausforderung dar. Leider stammen jedoch viele der bestehenden rechtlichen und regulatorischen Zugänge aus dem Papierzeitalter. Zahlreiche Beispiele aus der medizinischen Forschung und darüber hinaus zeigen, dass wir einen grundsätzlich neuen Zugang zu Daten-Governance brauchen. 
Alena Buyx
Institut für Geschichte und Ethik in der Medizin - Technische Universität München (DE/EN)
Innovative Technologien von Genom-Editierung über Künstliche Intelligenz bis hin zu Arbeits- und Medizinrobotern erfordern neue Wege des gesellschaftlichen Umgangs. Solidarität ist ein Regulierungsprinzip, das uns dabei helfen kann sicherzustellen, dass Technologie ethisch und sozial nachhaltig genutzt wird. 
Peter Dabrock
Lehrstuhl für Systematische Theologie II (Ethik) - Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg | Vorsitzender Deutscher Ethikrat (DE/EN)
Der Vorsitzende des Deutschen Ethikrates steht für alle Fragen an der Schnittstelle von Technologie, Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft zur Verfügung, insbesondere Fragen zur Globalen Gerechtigkeit im Kontext der Gesundheit, Big Data, und Genome Editing (https://www.ethikrat.org/publikationen/)

Bernard Dichek
Jounalist & Filmemacher - Tel Aviv (EN)
Artist-run initiatives have been able to breathe new life into the art scene and break the establishment's stranglehold in countries around the world. Recent efforts to create a global artist community herald more opportunities for artists, and more contemporary art for the public at large.
Carol Gould
Institut für Philosophie - City University of New York (EN)

What do we owe "outsiders," that is, people beyond our borders? What are our obligations to economic and climate refugees?

The problem of informational privacy on the Internet. Does giving "informed consent" to the multiple uses of our personal information (e.g., for targeted advertising) provide adequate protection for our privacy? What more might be needed?
Tim Hubbard
Professor of Bioinformatics and Head of Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at King’s College London | Head of Genome Analysis at Genomics England
It is practical to collect ever increasing amounts of data about each person's health. Society will benefit from better understanding of disease and better individual treatments if this data can be analysed collectively. However the data is very personal and individuals worry about sharing. Frameworks that individuals trust are needed for solidarity to share data for the common good.
Mirjam Pot
Institut für Politikwissenschaft - Universität Wien (DE/EN)
In der Medizin und Gesundheitsversorgung wird ein zunehmend starker Fokus auf individuelle Merkmale von PatientInnen gelegt. Unterschiede zwischen PatientInnen zu beachten kann sowohl Vorteile bringen, als auch zu Entsolidarisierung mit bestimmten Personengruppen führen. Es kommt auf die spezifischen Umstände an, ob personalisierte Medizin gerecht oder ungerecht ist.
Lukas Schlögl
Institut für Politikwissenschaft - Universität Wien (DE/EN)
Automatisierung und Digitalisierung verändern nicht nur Arbeit und Politik in westlichen Ländern – sie stellen Entwicklungsländer in Bereichen wie Industriepolitik, Verteilungsgerechtigkeit und sozialem Zusammenhalt vor große Herausforderungen. Die Bewältigung des technologischen Wandels erfordert, dass wir die internationalen Wirtschafts- und Arbeitsbeziehungen, ja den globalen Sozialvertrag, neu denken müssen. 
Tamar Sharon
Centre for Contemporary European Philosophy – Radboud University Nijmengen (EN)
As we move into the digital era, companies like Google, Apple and IBM are becoming important actors in health research. This may advance personalized medicine in unprecedented ways, but we also need new governance frameworks that ensure that public values – like privacy, fairness and the common good – are safeguarded in this “Googlization of health”.

Wanda Spahl
Institut für Politikwissenschaft - Universität Wien (DE/EN)


Geflüchtete Menschen stellen das österreichische Gesundheitssystem vor eine Vielzahl von neuen Herausforderungen. Was wissen wir über ihre gesundheitlichen Bedürfnisse? Wie können wir diese erfüllen, und somit die Grundlage für ein würdiges Leben sichern? Die Gesundheitsbedürfnisse aller hier lebenden Menschen zu verstehen bildet die Grundlage für eine gute Versorgung.
David Townend
Maastricht University (EN)

Two practices that make “big data” so powerful is that we can link datasets, and that we can use data that were collected for one purpose for research in another context. Both practices raise questions about law and governance that need to be addressed.

Peter West-Oram
Birghton and Sussex Medical School (EN)
Political and public discourse worldwide is increasingly characterised by assertions of the distance and difference between peoples. However, new challenges, such as climate change and anti-microbial resistance, are emerging which pose a potentially catastrophic threat to global public health and wellbeing. Successfully responding to these challenges demands a united, cooperative, and solidaristic response.


Barbara Prainsack, Universität Wien
Alena Buyx, Technische Universität München
Katharina Kieslich, Universität Wien
Nina Spurny, Universität Wien