Moving Beyond Solidarity Rhetoric in Global Health: pluriversality and actionable tools

Year of award: 2022


  • Dr Caesar Atuire

    University of Ghana, Ghana

  • Dr Jantina De Vries

    University of Cape Town, South Africa

  • Prof Barbara Prainsack

    University of Vienna, Austria

  • Prof Gabriela Arguedas

    University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica

  • Dr Elysee Nouvet

    Western University, Canada, Canada

  • Dr Bridget Pratt

    Australian Catholic University, Australia

  • Dr Unni Krishnan Karunakara

    Yale University, United States

Project summary

Solidarity is an often-invoked concept in global health. Appeals to solidarity at national and international levels have multiplied in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, at the international level, the results have failed to ensure equity in the production and allocation of resources for combating and mitigating the devastating effects of the virus. Historically, solidarity has proven to be an efficient tool in driving social change; ranging from the rights of workers to struggles for independence and emancipation. Solidarity discourse in global health reveals three critical gaps that must be addressed to move beyond rhetoric: conceptual ambiguity; epistemic injustice; and lack of tools for enactment and accountability. Our project addresses these gaps by engaging in an exercise of pluriversality that captures the multiple conceptualizations of solidarity, especially from historically marginalized groups: Latin America, Asia, Africa, Indigenous communities, and non-English speakers. Through an approach of incompletely theorized agreements, we interrogate the various conceptions to arrive at a set of core solidarity goals for global health. From these goals, we co-create, with key stakeholders and actors in global health, a solidarity index and ranking that enables actors to self-examine, transform, and be held accountable by stakeholders and the public.