Call for papers for the Special issue on:

°Ma(r)king solidarity boundaries towards migrants. Individual, local and transnational experiences°



Guest editors:


Amandine Desille (University of Bordeaux)

Tina Magazzini (Czech Academy of Sciences and European University Institute))



The core idea for this Special Issue is to reflect upon the dynamics of participation both by individuals and by groups acting in solidarity with migrants in different contexts at the subnational level. To overcome the eurocentrism of such debates, we aim at analysing solidarities in reception and origin regions, both in the so-called global North and South.

Using the concept of “solidarities” to address the relation between persons who have experienced migration and persons who have not, and between people and institutions, enables us to change the unit of analysis. Differently from the debates revolving around the concepts of integration, inclusion or incorporation, a solidarities approach enables research to escape the “us vs. them” dichotomy, extending the debate on deservingness to society as a whole. Moreover, with the development of crossborder volunteering and the diffusion of multi-scalar partnerships between subnational governments and civil society organisations, solidarities are rescaled, and encompass new forms beyond national welfare mechanisms.


Sociology and political science scholars have shown a growing interest in the concept of solidarity, especially in reference to ‘migrant solidarity’ vs. ‘national solidarity’ (della Porta & Steinhilper 2021). But how can acts of solidarity be understood in different contexts, how do different players practice it, and towards whom? When is solidarity towards migrants a political act, when is it about providing basic provisions subcontracted by the state to local or non-governmental actors, and when is it an act of defiance against the state?


Since 2015, movements of solidarities have emerged as a strong presence that has developed in parallel and opposition to nativist populist movements. In Western countries, the involvement of municipal actors on welcoming and integration issues (Caponio, Scholten & Zapata-Barrero, 2018; Filomeno, 2016; Lacroix & Desille, 2018; Walker & Leitner, 2011) was urged by the growing engagement of grassroots collectives of residents, and these local mobilisations are often connected to wider transnational organisations. This is true for municipal actors (Lacroix 2021), but also for church networks, pro-migrant associations, citizen’s movement mediated by social media, etc. The recent outpour of solidarity towards Ukrainians fleeing the war has demonstrated how solidarity can apply selectively to some categories of migrants while excluding others, and how the trans-nationalization of social, political and economic processes both affects and is affected by local social movements, associations and faith groups.


Against this background, we are particularly interested in studies that address the forms and geographies of pro-migrant solidarities (such as city networks, local and crossborder social mobilisati ons); but also in research on the way different forms of solidarities intersect at the local level (such as partnerships between migrant and non migrant organisations, between cities of refuge/sanctuary and civil society organisations, etc).


We wish to include three core ‘nodal points’ in this Special Issue (not all three features need to be present in all contributions, but all papers should include at least one of these aspects): Firstly, the transnational and localised dimension of solidarities that bring together sociological and political debates. The solidarities analysed in this SI should be neither abstract/ solely theoretical reflections nor isolated case studies of progressive localism: what links the different accounts compared in this collection is an understanding of solidarity as a practice that is tied to the negotiations of urban life.


Secondly, we are interested in the role that the mobilisation of ethnicity, religion and migrant or other identity markers play in the politics of solidarity and in who participates in various solidarity movements. While a rich literature exists on the acts of solidarity and the characteristics that define them (Butcher, 2010; Lassen, 2018; Cantat, 2020), the study of actors or ‘makers’ of solidarity has so far been less developed. In building multi-scalar connections between the local and transnational actors, the various identity ma(r)kers behave differently and have different drives, expectations and capacities: a contribution of this collection is that of offering an insight into how activists, participants, academics and refugees can forge a common ground which is transversal, while exploring the specificities of different groups (faith-based as opposed to secular NGOs as opposed to self-organized solidarity networks, for instance).


Thirdly and finally, we wish for the authors to take stock of their/ our own positionality as researchers in this field, since the typology of actors and of case studies compared in this collection will be, as always in social science research, shaped by issues of accessibility, methodological tools and positionality. The study of the development of ties between dissimilar people into groups or networks that are conducive to collective action (Lacomba, 2020) becomes therefore, necessarily, also a reflection on the role of academia in this process.

Submission procedure:



1) Articles, written in English, should be submitted to the editors according to the following schedule:


- Submission of long abstracts (about 1,000 words): 1st of December2022

Abstracts must be sufficiently detailed to allow the PACO editorial board to judge the merits of the paper, including:


(1) A description of the topic,

(2) How the paper addresses one or more of the three nodal points of the SI

(3) Empirical data and methodology,

(4) Findings


Additionally, we wish to encourage authors to submit original research that focuses on non-European contexts, and to provide some information on their role in data collection.


- Selection of long abstracts for articles: 15th of December 2022

- Submission of articles: 15th of February 2022

- Provision of peer review feedback: 15th of April 2023

- Submission of revised drafts: 30th of May 2023

- Publication of the issue: 15th of November 2023


Articles should be no longer than 8,000 words, including notes and references.


Please refer to the editorial guidelines available at:


Please address any queries to the Editors – Proposals and papers should be sent directly to all the guest editors:


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