Re-thinking Solidarity

Following the success of the first webinar, which marked the 40th anniversary of the foundation of Solidarnosc – the first independent trade union in the Soviet bloc, which led to the collapse of communism and a peaceful transition to democracy across Central and Eastern Europe, we are launching Re-thinking Solidarity series.

Re-thinking Solidarity will bring together leading academics, historians, philosophers, theologians, social activists, policy makers and legislators to engage in thoughtful reflection and re-think what solidarity means today, in light of a variety of societal changes, the current geopolitical situation and the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic.

We will explore the idea of solidarity in the context of religion and inter-faith dialogue; environmental and financial sustainability; politics and political psychology; and equality and social justice.

The series of webinars will be chaired by Lord Alderdice – a psychiatrist who, as Leader of Northern Ireland’s Alliance Party was one of the key negotiators of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, then first Speaker of the new Northern Ireland Assembly, and subsequently one of four international Commissioners who oversaw security normalization in Ireland.  A member of the House of Lords since 1996 and Convenor of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords during the Coalition Government, he was President of Liberal International – the global federation of liberal parties – and currently has various appointments at the University of Oxford including as Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict.

Re-thinking Solidarity webinars will be subsequently published as a series of essays, and when it is possible, we do hope to convene further seminars in Oxford and Rome.

Re-thinking Solidarity is organised by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building and the Political Theology, in partnership with St. Benet’s Institute, St. Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford and The St. John Paul II Institute of Culture at Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas Angelicum in Rome, and supported by the Polish Cultural Institute in London.


Re-thinking Solidarity


  • 23 Oct 2020: Solidarity, religion and inter-faith dialogue

Register at:

  • Lord Alderdice (chair)
  • Dariusz Karlowicz, Political Theology
  • Nazila Ghanea, University of Oxford
  • Daniel Greenberg, Jewish Law and Ethics
  • Jaroslaw Kupczak OP, St. John Paul II Institute of Culture, Angelicum


  • 20 Nov 2020: Solidarity between the generations – environmental and financial sustainability

Register at:

  • Lord Alderdice (chair)
  • Helen Alford OP, Vice Rector, Angelicum
  • Kalypso Nicolaidis, University of Oxford
  • Carlos Fidalgo Gallardo, Universidad de Sevilla
  • Marek A. Cichocki, Political Theology


  • 18 Dec 2020: Solidarity, politics and political psychology

Register at:

  • Mark Devenport, former BBC NI Political Editor (chair)
  • Deniz Arıboğan, Uskudar University, Istanbul
  • Ewa Thompson, Rice University
  • Alejandro Crosthwaite OP, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Angelicum
  • Michał Gierycz, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Economic Studies UKSW


  • 19 Feb 2021: Solidarity, equality and social justice

Register at:

  • Lord Alderdice (chair)
  • Fr Michal Paluch, Rector of the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum)
  • Dr Austen Ivereigh, Fellow in Contemporary Church History, Campion Hall, Oxford
  • Sally J. Scholz, PhD, Chair, Department of Philosophy, Villanova University
  • Professor Tomasz Zyro, University of Warsaw and Political Theology