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While there are exact definitions of justice, solidarity is often criticised as vague; it is seen as an overused and underdetermined concept at the same time. Some also consider it a specifically European value that has no currency in other world regions. Also in discussions on good data governance, justice has been an important guiding principle, while solidarity has played a very minor role. Part of the reason for this is that justice is associated with the realm of thought and reason. Solidarity, in contrast, is a concept grounded in action: it emerges from what people do, and not from what they think, or what they are (Sangiovanni 2015; Prainsack & Buyx 2017). Because of solidarity’s strong grounding in action, however, it can address problems that  justice cannot. Using solidarity as the guiding principle of data governance leads us to different, and at least equally important places, as an emphasis on justice. I will demonstrate this using the example of digital slavery (Chisnall 2020).


Chisnall, M., 2020. Digital slavery, time for abolition? Policy Studies, 41(5), pp.488-506.

Prainsack B., Buyx A. 2017. Solidarity in Biomedicine and Beyond. Cambridge University Press.

Sangiovanni, A., 2015. Solidarity as joint action. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 32(4), pp.340-359.



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