Solidarity, Justice, and Incorporation: Thinking through The Civil Sphere, Cambridge University Press, 2015
Edited by Peter Kivisto & Giuseppe Sciortino
This book seeks to reengage Jeffrey C. Alexander’s The Civil Sphere several years after its initial appearance. It does so at a moment when Alexander has extended and applied his framework to events that have occurred since 2006, specifically the election of Barack Obama, the Arab Spring, and the Occupy movement. The book begins with the a lengthy chapter by the editors that provides an overview of Alexander’s understanding of the civil sphere and the various components crucial to its functioning, particularly the role of public opinion and social movements. How solidarity is achieved in highly differentiated societies is the central concern of the book, and related to it how multicultural incorporation can serve to achieve unity in diversity in a way that advances the cause of justice. It then turns to six eminent international scholars who comment on the book now that the intellectual dust has settled from its initial reception: Robert N. Bellah, Axel Honneth, Bryan S. Turner, Mario Diani, Chad Alan Goldberg, and Farhad Khosrokhavar. Alexander’s rejoinder is intended to both respond to the commentators and to further clarify and develop his thesis.