Aitchison, Guy, Domination and Disobedience- Protest, Coercion and the Limits of an Appeal to Justice .pdf (371.71 kB)
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Domination and disobedience: Protest, coercion and the limits of an appeal to justice

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journal contribution
posted on 27.07.2021, 12:47 by Guy AitchisonGuy Aitchison
I offer a conceptual framework for assessing the normative legitimacy of coercive disobedience—involving threats, disruption, force, and deceit—by social movements. A standard liberal view is that while coercion may be required to resist authoritarian regimes, it is illegitimate in a democratic state since it conflicts with majority rule and mutual respect. In restricting disobedience to a form of moral persuasion, this perspective neglects how social power and material interests can distort the conditions for open, fair deliberation. I offer a principled defense of coercive disobedience, not only in repressive states but in plausibly democratic societies. I argue that coercion can be justified on democratic republican grounds as a means to collectively contest objectionable forms of political domination. The use of coercion can be justified as asurrogatetool of political action for those who lack effective participation rights; as aremedialtool to counteract the dominating influence of powerful actors over the process of democratic will formation, and as amobilizationaltool to maintain participation and discipline in collective action. I conclude by proposing democratic constraints on the use of coercive tactics designed to offset the potential movements themselves become a source of arbitrary power.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Politics and International Studies

Published in

Perspectives on Politics

Volume

16

Issue

3

Pages

666 - 679

Publisher

Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© American Political Science Association 2018

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Perspectives on Politics and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1017/s1537592718001111

Publication date

2018-08-21

Copyright date

2018

ISSN

1537-5927

eISSN

1541-0986

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Guy Aitchison. Deposit date: 27 July 2021