Solidarity as the ‘cornerstone’ of social cohesion in a deeply divided society
Northern Ireland – A case in point
This paper explores the relationship between solidarity and its potential for healing divisions in Northern Ireland. It puts into context the challenges that the legacy of ‘The Troubles’ poses for reaching greater levels of solidarity which has often been generated by international youth work opportunities through Erasmus+.
However, it has the potential to be enriched further by the European Solidarity Corps. The paper argues that international youth work can create the conditions to nurture solidarity and can act as an effective model for repairing relationships. does this by providing evidence to support such a claim, explores values that underpin solidarity and how these also link to the recently established four ‘cornerstones’ of solidarity. In addition, the paper makes the case for solidarity as a basis for transforming existing relationships, and more importantly argues that solidarity is the ‘cornerstone’ of a more socially cohesive Northern Ireland.
Fergal has been involved in youth work fulltime since 1987 (professionally qualified since 1995) and has worked in areas such as Youth Information, Education Welfare, Community Relations, Volunteering, Peace and Reconciliation; Centre Based, Street, Participation, Rural and Urban based Youth Work; Family Support; consultation, evaluation and research; YOUTH/Youth in Action/Erasmus+; and Social Justice and Interface work.