Cosmopolitan disobedience

Journal of International Political Theory 17 (3):222-239 (2021)
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Increasingly, protests occur across borders and are carried out by non-nationals. Many of these protests include elements that break the laws of their host country and are aimed at issues of global concern. Despite the increasing frequency of transnational protest, little ethical consideration has been given to it. This article provides a cosmopolitan justification for transnational disobedience on behalf of self and others. The article argues that individuals may be justified in illegally protesting in other states, and that in some circumstances they may do so even when laws have been legitimately constituted by the domestic constituencies of those states. Using a cosmopolitan reading of the notion of civility and of the civil realm, the article argues that transnational protests are capable of conforming to the normative and conceptual standards necessary for them to be labelled civil disobedience. As a result, they ought to carry a privileged moral status compared with other forms of protest. The article applies the All Affected Principle to argue that a democratic deficit can provide transnational protesters and resident migrants with a right to civil disobedience even where that right is not held by members of the demos they protest within.



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Steve Cooke
University of Leicester

Citations of this work

Unruly kids? Conceptualizing and defending youth disobedience.Nikolas Mattheis - 2022 - European Journal of Political Theory 21 (3):466-490.

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References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
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Taking Rights Seriously.Ronald Dworkin - 1979 - Mind 88 (350):305-309.

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