European Parliament Library

Justifying violent protest, law and morality in democratic states, James Greenwood-Reeves

"This book presents a radical, but compelling, argument that liberal democracies must be able accommodate violent protest. We often think of violent protest as being alien to liberal democracy, an extraordinary occurrence within our peaceful societies. Yet this is simply untrue. Violent protest is a frequent and normal part of democratic life. The real question is: should it be? Can rebellion or riot against government ever be morally justifiable in our society? By framing state demands for obedience as 'legitimacy claims', or moral arguments, states who make illogical and unjust laws make weaker arguments for obedience. This in turn gives citizens stronger moral reasons to disobey. Violence can act as moral dialogue - with expressive and instrumental value in denouncing unjust laws - and can have just as important a role in democracy as peaceful protest. This book examines the activism of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters, Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter, and many other groups internationally, in order to demonstrate that not only can violent protest be acceptable; at times of grave injustice, it is unavoidable. This book will appeal to a broad range of academics, in legal and political theory, sociolegal studies, criminology, history and philosophy, as well as others with interests in contemporary forms of protest"-- Provided by publisher
Table Of Contents
Cover -- Half Title -- Title -- Copyright -- Contents -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- Why violent protest? -- Theoretical background -- Chapter synopsis -- Theoretical frames -- Theoretical presumptions -- 1 Constitutional morality -- Liberal democratic theory: a very brief overview -- Moral grounds and constitutional morality -- Difficulties with constitutional moral principles -- Chapter 1 conclusion -- 2 Legitimacy -- Introduction -- Conceptions of legitimacy -- Consent -- Sociological theories -- Normative rationality -- Legitimacy claims -- Legitimation and constitutionality -- Limitations to this concept -- State legitimacy -- Chaos -- Does a poor legitimacy claim generate automatic duties to disobey? -- Prima facie duties of obedience and "everyday law" -- Amoral constitutions and states -- Chapter 2 conclusion -- 3 Protest as a legitimacy counterclaim in democratic constitutions -- Protest: a brief theoretical overview -- Protest, constitutional morality, and legitimacy claims -- Caveats -- Illustrative cases of legitimacy claims in protest -- Chapter 3 conclusion -- 4 Violent protest as a legitimacy counterclaim in democratic constitutions -- Overview -- Definitions of violence -- The roles of political violence -- Violent protests as legitimacy counterclaims: the language of violence -- State violence -- Chapter 4 conclusion -- 5 General limitations to violent protest -- "General and specific" limitations to political violence -- General limitations to violence in protest -- Illegality -- Violence as innately immoral -- Nonviolence as preference -- Needlessness -- Instrumentality -- Social cohesion -- Chapter 5 conclusion: learning from limitations -- 6 Specific limitations to the legitimacy of violent protest -- "Legitimate" state monopolies on violence -- The liberty objection -- The rule of law or justice objection
Literary Form
non fiction
Physical Description
1 online resource (176 pages)
Specific Material Designation
Form Of Item

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