Raisons politiques 69, février 2018

Raisons politiques 69, février 2018

(Un)civil disobedience

The concept of civil disobedience has been a focal point in ethical discussions of dissent ever since philosophers devoted serious attention to the question of political lawbreaking in response to the outpouring of social activism in the 1960's. Civil disobedience has come to enjoy a presumptive legitimacy in the minds of many even while liberal states themselves have expanded the methods of intrusive surveillance and policing at their disposal. But should dissent really be civil? Or is the aspiration to civility unrealistic and self-defeating for those fighting injustice ?
Some philosophers contend that civility is not only tactically useful to garner support, but also a moral expectation for those challenging the political authority of a democratic constitutional regime. Others contend that the demand for civility is a means to domesticate dissent and protect the status quo from radical challenge.
The five papers in this special collection aim to unpack the idea of civility, examining what (if anything) it implies for the conduct of political activists and under what conditions it can be set aside for more forceful, violent, disruptive and offensive methods.

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