Academic Rational to the Conferences and Network

While we use the term conference, we prefer to think of the our conferences as meetings of a network. Whilst a conference has value in itself and can produce organic links and partnerships from delegates discussions, this initiative was launched with a clear sense of wanting to do more than provide a single opportunity for high quality academic discussion and debate (though we are committed to that as an immediate aim!).

It is styled a network because we wish to develop a trans-disciplinary network of intellectuals with a global reach, across a range of disciplines and spanning theoretical, empirical, cultural and aesthetic and law, policy and politics spans (for us this does not exclude creative intellectual work). The purpose of the conferences and the network, facilitated by our website ( will be as follows:

-To exchange information, notification of events, new thinking and proposals for cooperation in the broad areas of solidarity and difference.
-To encourage constructive communication between different intellectuals from different disciplines, global spaces, perspectives and approaches to questions of solidarity and difference and encourage a synergy of thinking.
-To encourage collective endeavours in the production of full funded research bids for projects, publications, seminars, workshops and debates and other collaborative endeavours that enrich understandings of solidarity and difference.
-To promote what is planned as an annual conference on themes closely related to the core interests of those studying difference and solidarity, and such other activities as will promote the network and project.

Our conferences and network are also guided, in part, by three responses to current scholarship on difference and solidarity:

1. A concern at relative critical absences or impasses in conceptual and theoretical scholarship that explore the often contradictory or conflictual relationship between solidarity and difference in exploring communities and societies
2. A desire to explore new thinking and new initiatives on solidarity and difference within contemporary societies that both critically engage with and move beyond the conventional vocabularies of multi-culturalism, cultural conformity and cosmopolitanism
3. A desire to encourage the exploration of comparative and contrasting examples of solidarity and difference drawn from across the globe, both beyond the hegemonic assumptions of ‘core-periphery’ global models and equally not prone to moralising assumptions about post-modern and post-colonial alternatives.

We therefore seek to develop a network of intellectuals interested in unpacking issues and problems that arise from the juxtaposition of solidarity and difference in human societies. In doing so we welcome trans-disciplinary contributions (and also disciplinary contributions); theoretical and conceptual critiques and empirical studies, cases and comparative studies; and contributions from diverse ideological, theoretical and political positions where there is a desire for critical debate and engagement. If your aim for this conference – and of course your aims and desires for the conference are important! – is to deliver your paper, listen to others and seek a publication at the end, then we hope we’ll provide a conference setting where you can do that. However, what we seek are:

-People interested in staying connected, passing on information and networking for the best possible impacts in terms of research and contributions to public argument
-People who may see some benefit from regularly convening and discussing key themes and issues in the broad area of solidarity and difference – by conference, seminar or online forum.
-People who see the benefit of collaborative projects, whether for funded conceptual or empirical research projects, writing projects, comparative projects or other such initiatives. 

We hope you find this a sympathetic environment to share ideas, debate points, explore arguments and generally enjoy academic nourishment.

Paul Reynolds and Scott H. Boyd

Quick Links to Conferences:

Our 5th International CDSS Network Conference will be held in 2019 on a date and place to be determined.

Please feel free to browse the information from our previous conferences to learn more about the network.

If you have ideas for conference topics or locations, please send an email to info(at)


Cultural Difference and Social Solidarity Network