Studies in Global Justice

Civil Disobedience in Global Perspective

Decency and Dissent over Borders, Inequities, and Government Secrecy

Authors: Allen, Michael

  • Places civil disobedience squarely in a global perspective by calling into question the idea that it is confined to the self-contained nation state
  • Substantively redefines the theory and practice of civil disobedience
  • Fully elaborates the idea of civil disobedience beyond the nation state​
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About this book

This book explores a hitherto unexamined possibility of justifiable disobedience opened up by John Rawls’ Law of Peoples. This is the possibility of disobedience justified by appeal to standards of decency that are shared by peoples who do not otherwise share commitments to the same principles of justice, and whose societies are organized according to very different basic social institutions. Justified by appeal to shared decency standards, disobedience by diverse state and non-state actors indeed challenge injustices in the international system of states. The book considers three case studies: disobedience by the undocumented, disobedient challenges to global economic inequities, and the disobedient disclosure of government secrets. It proposes a substantial analytical redefinition of civil disobedience in a global perspective, identifying the creation of global solidarity relations as its goal.

Michael Allen breaks new ground in our understanding of global justice. Traditional views, such as those of Rawls, see justice as a matter of recognizing the moral status of all free and equal person as citizens in a state. Allen argues that this fails to see things from the global perspective. From this perspective disobedience is not merely a matter of social cooperation. Rather, it is a matter of self determination that guarantees the invulnerability of different types of persons and peoples to domination. This makes the disobedience by the undocumented justified, based on the idea that all persons are moral equals, so that all sovereign peoples need to reject dominating forms of social organization for all persons, and not just their own citizens. In an age of mass movements of people, Allen gives us a strong reason to change our practices in treating the undocumented.

James Bohman, St Louis University, Danforth Chair in the Humanities

This monograph is an important contribution to our thinking on civil disobedience and practices of dissent in a globalized world. This is an era where non-violent social movements have had a significant role in challenging the abuse of power in contexts as diverse, yet interrelated as the Arab Spring protests and the Occupy protests. Moreover, while protests such as these speak to a local political horizon, they also have a global footprint, catalyzing a transnational dialogue about global justice, political strategy and cosmopolitan solidarity. Speaking directly to such complexities, Allen makes a compelling case for a global perspective regarding civil disobedience. Anyone interested in how the dynamics of non-violent protest have shaped and reshaped the landscape for democratic engagement in a globalized world will find this book rewarding and insightful.

Vasuki Nesiah, New York University

About the authors

Michael Allen in an associate professor of Philosophy at East Tennessee State University. His research interests concern the intersection of resistance and legitimacy in global justice as well as in political animal ethics. He has published numerous journal articles in both of these areas.

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction: A Global Practice of Civil Disobedience

    Allen, Michael

    Pages 1-17

  • Decency, the Right to Disobey, and Non-domination

    Allen, Michael

    Pages 19-35

  • Undocumented Disobedients as a Special Class of Civil Disobedients

    Allen, Michael

    Pages 37-58

  • Institutionalizing the Human Right of the Undocumented to Be Domestic Political Participants

    Allen, Michael

    Pages 59-80

  • Unfair Terms of Global Cooperation and the Fair Equality of Liberty Between Peoples

    Allen, Michael

    Pages 81-102

Buy this book

eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-024-1164-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $89.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-024-1162-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Civil Disobedience in Global Perspective
Book Subtitle
Decency and Dissent over Borders, Inequities, and Government Secrecy
Authors
Series Title
Studies in Global Justice
Series Volume
16
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-94-024-1164-5
DOI
10.1007/978-94-024-1164-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-94-024-1162-1
Series ISSN
1871-0409
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 144
Topics