Social solidarity is a key element of redistributive welfare states. Such solidarity is, however, not a given and must be built through political, legal, economic and cultural means. Each of the agents of that solidarity has weakened over the past generation: social democratic parties, legislatures, trade unions, and the various institutions that create a shared national culture. With the austerity of neo-liberalism, the growth of migration of various sorts, and the emergence of identitarian politics, we have moved from “what belongs to whom” to “who belongs to us.” In my presentation I will review and assess each of these developments for Germany and for the U.S. and then examine the prospects for immigrant integration policies that might build or rebuild solidarity.
David Abraham is Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Miami. He was educated as an historian at the University of Chicago and as a jurist at the University of Pennsylvania. Abraham taught German and European history in the History Department at Princeton University for a number of years before joining a Law Faculty. Abraham has published widely on issues of politics and economics in Weimar Germany and is the author of The Collapse of the Weimar Republic, which examined the conditions and fate of a social- democratic, class-compromise effort to establish a viable welfare state and the assault against it by Germany’s elites.. More recently he has written on immigration and citizenship law with a particular focus on citizenship in a neo-liberal era and problems of social solidarity, diversity, and integration in Germany, Israel, and the US. He has published, among others, in Law and Social Inquiry, Politics & Society, the American Journal of Legal History, Citizenship Studies, the International Journal of Constitutional Law, Ethnic and Racial Studies, the International Migration Review, the American Historical Review, the Journal of Modern History, Critical Historical Studies and a number of Law Reviews. In recent articles he has focused on the dilemma of the political Left, where an increasingly cosmopolitan conception of justice has undermined an historic commitment to regulation, closure, and protection. This is the project Abraham will be developing at the ARC. The recipient of Humboldt, ACLS, and DAAD Awards as well as a “best chapter” prize from the APSA, Abraham has been a Visiting Professor at several European universities. He is currently completing a collection of articles that will appear this Fall as Wer gehört zu uns? Einwanderung, Integration und Solidarität im Wohlfahrtstaat (Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag 2019).