Citizenship, Solidarity, and the Common Good

  • Rajesh Shukla Saint Paul University, Ottawa
Keywords: citizenship, solidarity, the common good, immigrants, marginalization, discrimination and resentment


Despite the liberal democratic insistence on citizenship and solidarity, we see a sharp rise in divisive politics, aggressive posturing, and social and political fragmentation in many countries. Moreover, it has been argued that the commitments regarding social solidarity in democratic states have either not fully materialized or have been replaced by “mutual hatred and resentment” (Mishra 2017, 14) in the general populace. Addressing the above challenges necessitates a fresh reflection on democratic priorities and principles. A meaningful realization of liberal democratic citizenship and solidarity, I contend, requires an agile notion of the common good, encouraging citizens to come together in the pursuit of their collective goals and projects, making necessary accommodations for the welfare of not only their compatriots but also noncitizens, immigrants and marginalized individuals who inhabit the same social and cultural space. To the above end, I draw upon liberal universalism and egalitarianism, emphasizing the principles of equality and human dignity, to show that any formulation of the common good must be consistent with well-known democratic ideals. Accordingly, I suggest that the social and cultural commitments of democratic citizens should be reimagined to adjust to liberal values of citizenship, solidarity, and the common good.     

Author Biography

Rajesh Shukla, Saint Paul University, Ottawa

Dr. Rajesh C. Shukla, is an Associate Professor at the School of Ethics, Social Justice and Public Service, Faculty of Philosophy, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada. His research interests reside at the intersections of moral and political philosophy, focusing particularly on the conceptions of friendship and justice, migration and immigration, ethics and public policy, secularism and democratic citizenship. Rajesh’s articles have appeared the Theoforum (2018), Annales: Ethics in Economic Life (2018), French Journal of Media Research (2016), Frontiers of Philosophy in China (2014), East and West Thought (2014) & Toronto Slavic Quarterly (2013). Rajesh has also served as the guest editor for the Journal of Philosophy, Culture and Tradition (2013) and French Journal of Media Research (2018), and co-edited books with his colleagues. Rajesh’s current research is devoted to understanding the impact of migration and immigration on the functioning of democratic societies and welfare states, including Canada and India.