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School of Politics and International Relations

Book Launch; Belonging: Solidarity and Division in Modern Societies

26 November 2013

Time: 6:30pm
Venue: Fogg Lecture Theatre, Queen Mary, Mile End Campus

Belonging: Solidarity and Division in Modern Societies (Polity Press 2013)
It is commonly assumed that we live in an age of unbridled individualism, but in this important new book Montserrat Guibernau argues that the need to belong to a group or community - from peer groups and local communities to ethnic groups and nations - is a pervasive and enduring feature of modern social life.  The power of belonging stems from the potential to generate an emotional attachment capable of fostering a shared identity, loyalty and solidarity among members of a given community. It is this strong emotional dimension that enables belonging to act as a trigger for political mobilization and, in extreme cases, to underpin collective violence.

"In Belonging Professor Guibernau skilfully deconstructs the many differing elements that determine the individual’s identity. In a world where conflicting trends, tendencies and tensions compete to define us, it is a timely analysis of the increasing complexities influencing much of the contemporary human predicament. It will become a standard work on the subject."
Lord Smith of Clifton

"How to define and interpret the relationship between the individual and community? Guibernau demonstrates possibilities of new understanding of this almost secular problem by introducing the newly defined term belonging in mutual tension with identification and nationalism. Theoretical reflections are connected with pressing political problems of  our times. This approach is rich on inspiration and intellectual challenge for all social sciences."
-Miroslav Hroch, Charles University, Prague

Montserrat Guibernau
MPhil, PhD University of Cambridge (King’s College).
2012-2013 Leverhulme Trust Fellowship to research the project: ‘Identity, Emotions and Political Mobilization’.
Recent publications include Belonging: Solidarity and Division in Modern Societies (Polity, Cambridge 2013); For a Cosmopolitan Catalanism (Angle, 2009); The Identity of Nations (Polity, 2007); Catalan Nationalism (Routledge, 2004); Nations without States (Polity, 1999); History and National Destiny (Blackwell, 2004) with J. Hutchinson The conditions of diversity in multinational democracies (IRPP-MacGill University Press, 2003) with A. Gagnon and F. Rocher; Understanding Nationalism (Polity Press, 2001) with J. Hutchinson; The Ethnicity Reader (Polity Press, 1997) with J. Rex. Second Edition published in 2010; Governing European Diversity (Sage, 2001) editor; Governing Europe: The developing agenda (Open University: 2006); Nationalism in Latin America. Nations and Nationalism vol. 12 part 2, April 2006, with Charles Jones and Nicola Miller.  Co-editor of the journal Nations and Nationalism (Blackwell).

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