Hidden Histories and Geographies of Internationalism

David Featherstone


Invokes a rich variety of case studies, from historical solidarity movements to present day concerns, such as climate change activism.
Despite the frequency with which the word 'solidarity' is invoked the concept itself has rarely been subjected to close scrutiny. In this original and stereotype-busting work, David Featherstone helps redress this imbalance through an innovative combination of archival research, activist testimonies and first-hand involvement with political movements.

Presenting a variety of case studies, from anti-slavery and anti-fascist organizing to climate change activism and the boycotts of Coca-Cola, Featherstone unearths international forms of solidarity that are all too often marginalized by nation-centred histories of the left and social movements.

Timely and wide-ranging, this is a fascinating investigation of an increasingly vital subject.

Author Bio

David Featherstone is a senior lecturer in human geography at the University of Glasgow. He has key research interests in space, politics and resistance in both the past and present. He is the author of Resistance, Space and Political Identities: The Making of Counter-Global Networks and co-editor of Spatial Politics: Essays for Doreen Massey.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Thinking solidarity politically
  • Part I: Theorizing solidarity
    • 1 Solidarity: theorizing a transformative political relation
    • 2 Rethinking internationalism
  • Part II: Colonial and anti-colonial internationalisms
    • 3 'Labour with a white skin will never emancipate itself while labour with a black skin is in bondage': maritime labour and the uses of solidarity
    • 4 'Your liberty and ours': black internationalism and anti-fascism
  • Part III: Solidarity and Cold War geopolitics
    • 5 'No trade with the junta': political exile and solidarity after the Chilean coup
    • 6 'Beyond the barbed wire': European nuclear disarmament and non-aligned internationalism
  • Part IV: Solidarity in the shadow of neoliberalism
    • 7 'Our resistance is as transnational as capital': the counter-globalization movement and prefigurative solidarity
    • 8 'If the climate were a bank it would be bailed out': solidarity and the making of climate justice
  • Conclusion: Solidarity without guarantees
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index


'This book does much more than recover precious negated histories of solidarities built in the course of struggles against oppression. Solidarity is a timely, significant contribution to the theorizing of subaltern cosmopolitanisms that, without negating different histories and positioning, find common ground in strivings for equality, redistribution, and justice.'
Nina Glick Schiller, director of the Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures and professor of social anthropology, University of Manchester

'This book is alive with ideas, politics and possibilities. It traces solidarities to oppression and grievance, but also to curiosity, imagination and sociability, and in all this it finds and communicates inspiration and hope.'
Richard Phillips, professor of human geography, University of Sheffield

'Dave Featherstone evokes the restless energy of international solidarity actions as they repeatedly emerge in unexpected spaces, and are constantly reinvented in struggles against oppression. With impressive historical range, he shows us this has been going on for much longer than is often thought.'
Jeremy Anderson, head of strategic research, International Transport Workers' Federation

'Breaks new ground through Featherstone's critical, rigorous and highly engaging exploration of the forging of solidarity between disparate actors struggling to transform their lifeworlds. Through powerful and productive case studies, Featherstone illuminates solidarity as an ongoing - and potentially transformative - political relationship rather than merely a thing to be achieved. Well-written, knowledgeable, and provocative, this original work is a vital contribution to contemporary attempts not only to map and describe the fabric of social justice struggle but to explore what it means and why it matters.'
Alex Khasnabish, assistant professor, Mount Saint Vincent University


Publication Date: 12 July 2012
320 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781848135956
Hardback: 9781848135963
eBook ePub: 9781780324128
eBook PDF: 9781848135970
eBook Kindle: 9781780324951

Why is peer review so important?

Learn more about the various types of peer review, why it’s so important, what the social and political considerations of peer review are and how we use it at Zed Books.