How could the development of transnational justice shape transnational solidarity?
Author: Marcus Franke
The labor market has gone through various phases of transformation in recent decades. For example, the globalization has fostered multinational companies (MNCs) operating around the world like the retail giant amazon. At the same time, we experience a rise of the platform economy. After flexibilization, this latest development now represents a fragmentation of the labor market. These developments have one thing in common: the possibility to circumvent the regulations of the national labor markets, either by relocating to a different country with fewer regulations or in terms of platform economy trying to redefine traditional circumstances of employment as self-employment. Against the background of these changes the implications for solidarity are immanent in matter of transnationalizing and reinforcing the structure, perspective and actions supporting employees. At the same time, questions of justice have also shifted, which could give us new ideas about the normative dimension of (transnational) solidarity.
What does it mean for the stabilization of transnational solidarity when the so-called Westphalian Framework as a place of homogeneity of law and society is eroding? Could legitimacy through recognition be a significant factor in the transnational dimension of solidarity as homogeneity is harder to achieve across state borders, and is fairness as an element of justice a topic to unite people from different social, cultural, national and working backgrounds to act in solidarity? And could these questions elaborate about the normative dimension of solidarity of transnational working relations?
Looking at the topic of solidarity, or even more so of transnational solidarity, the primary question seems to be who is in solidarity with whom? The most common answer in the literature is that solidarity requires a group that is as homogeneous as possible, and this is found traditionally in the frame of the territorial national states (e.g. Engler 2016). In terms of justice the institutional framework of national states co-imbricate people as subjects of justice (Fraser 2008, p. 12), what gives justice a common reference point with regard to the structural starting position. As homogeneity is seen as a mechanism of stability regarding solidarity, Habermas reflected that the legitimacy of a state is based on the de facto recognition by the people of the state (Habermas 1994 p. 352). From a democratic view this means that legitimacy achieves a sufficient quality for stabilization if justice and participation are guaranteed at a certain level by the state framework.