Guest editors: Paulina Barrera; Camilla Emmenegger; Tommaso Frangioni; Gaia Gondino; Giulia Marroccoli; Moreno Stambazzi.

All editors could be contacted at: conferenza.solitudine @

In an age of disintermediation and fading of great mass movements, the “spectre” of solitude seems to appear on the political, social and media scene. The phenomena we are referring to, although not unprecedented, emerge in particular and contradictory forms. More specifically, we are trying to embrace a pervasive and – paradoxically – collective dimension of solitude that can be observed at different levels in the political sphere.

Following Mair[1], we think, for example, of how “the widening gap between rulers and ruled has facilitated the often strident populist challenge” (Mair: 2013), in a political space characterized by the disengagement of both elites and citizens. On the one hand, and as proof of this disengagement, no political formations that could effectively deal with current phenomena of existential precarization or the challenges posed by migratory flows have emerged. On the other hand, despite the fact that in recent years the welfare state has been reduced in many European countries, due to the intensification of austerity measures, the formation of protest movements similar to those of 2012 (e.g. Indignados and Occupy) has not been observed. Finally, with respect to subjective level, we consider the detachment from politics – both as discourse and practice – well exemplified by the inability to build collective representations of individual problems[2]. Some phenomena, such as the disorganized riots in banlieues[3], violence against immigrants and foreigners, or the growing incidence of violence against women, also seem to highlight the need to analyze the interconnection between phenomena generally associated with the field of politics and more specifically individual dimensions of alienation and private violence.

[1] Mair, Peter (2013), Ruling the void : the hollowing of Western democracy, London, Verso.

[2] Bauman, Zygmunt (2000), La solitudine del cittadino globale, Milano, Feltrinelli.

[3] Tomasello, Federico (2015), La violenza. Saggio sulle frontiere del politico, Roma, Manifestolibri.


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