Home > Academic > Academic Roundup: Citizenship, civil disobedience, and globalization

Academic Roundup: Citizenship, civil disobedience, and globalization

Civil Disobedience from Thoreau to Transnational Mobilizations: The Global Challenge. Until very recently, civil disobedience, being a deliberate infraction of the law which is politically or morally motivated, was logically interpreted by theorists as a practice rooted in the state, since the source of positive law was primarily the State. But in the context of today’s globalization, the diversification of sources of power, the emergence of international laws or rules, or simply the obsoleteness of viewing the government as a juridical model, lead one to question the relevance of resorting to civil disobedience. (Hourya Bentouhami, Essays in Philosophy)

Violent Civil Disobedience and Willingness to Accept Punishment. It is still an open question whether or not Civil Disobedience (CD) has to be completely non-violent. According to Rawls, “any interference with the civil liberties of others tend to obscure the civilly disobedient quality of one’s act”. From this Rawls concludes that by no means can CD pose a threath to other individuals’ rights. In this paper I challenge Rawls’ view, arguing that CD can comprise some degree of violence without losing its “civil” value. (Piero Moraro, Essays in Philosophy)

Aristotle and the Rediscovery of Citizenship. Susan Collins seeks a renewed conception of citizenship through an investigation of Aristotle’s political philosophy. This is necessary, she argues, because liberal political theory has failed to reckon with the fact that the human good has an unavoidable political dimension. Liberal theorists often flee from the fact that every political community “requires specific virtues, molds characters, and shapes its citizens’ vision of the good” (2). Their deferral of the question, “What is good for us to be and do?” leads not merely to a kind of self-righteous blindness to the ways in which liberalism shapes the public and private lives of its citizens. It also eviscerates liberalism’s ability to respond to the challenge of “creedal and salvationist religions” (166) which in their more vociferous forms argue that liberalism is morally bankrupt. So we need a more capacious understanding of the seriousness and nobility of citizenship, along with a sense of its proper limits. (Thomas W. Smith, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews)

Making Globalization Work? “Making Globalization Work” is much like his first book in that it is a reasonably clear read, and while there is by necessity the use of the economic and political lexicon (that’s jargon for ‘jargon’), it is not so obtuse (that’s jargon for difficult) that it is not unreadable. It is simply not well argued, and retains the major faults that were obvious in the middle work, “Fair Trade For All”. (Jim Miles, ZNet)

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