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Coercion, resistance and the radical side of non-violent action
journal contributionposted on 2021-07-27, 10:55 authored by Guy AitchisonGuy Aitchison
Coercion, resistance and the radical side of nonviolent action In this paper, I examine the nature and ethics of nonviolent action as a type of political engagement that is distinct from civil disobedience and other favoured philosophical categories. I offer a justification for the specifically coercive character of non-violent action and identify the legitimate role it has to play not only in authoritarian states but in plausibly democratic societies. I critically interrogate Gandhi's influential understanding of nonviolent action - or "satyagraha" - as a method that converts opponents solely through the loving, purifying force of self-suffering and an argument by Vinit Haksar that nonviolent action does not count as coercive so long as its aims are morally justified. I dispute these perspectives and offer a justification for the use of coercive tactics based on democratic, republican grounds as a means to collectively contest certain objectionable forms of political domination.
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- International Relations, Politics and History