Community and world society: Theorizing solidarity

Going back to Ferdinand Tönnies, the notion of community has been adopted in many different research fields (e.g. migration, nationalism, welfare states) where it has experienced scathing criticisms yet never completely vanished. I argue that in order to be complete, a theory of modern world society needs a concept of community that theorizes solidary social relationships. Building on organizational theory, I offer a precise notion of communities as social collectives that generate resources for their own members. This concept applies to collectives from the micro level (families) to the meso (nations) and macro level (supranational regional organizations). With relation to global cooperation, it sheds new light on the extent and limits of willingness to cooperate.

Keywords  community; theory of organizations; solidarity; regionalism; world society