New Charles Sturt book explores the philosophy of civil disobedience

28 AUGUST 2019

New Charles Sturt book explores the philosophy of civil disobedience

A new book by a Charles Sturt University academic argues that to make sense of civil disobedience, we should expand our conception of political obligation to include acts that, despite being illegal, may reveal the agent’s civility.

  • New book provides an up-to-date overview of the philosophical literature on civil disobedience in the analytic tradition
  • Offers a critical comparison of different views around topics such as the role of non-violence
  • Posits argument to expand conception of political obligation to include acts that may reveal the civility of civil disobedience

A new book by a Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) academic argues that to make sense of civil disobedience, we should expand our conception of political obligation to include acts that, despite being illegal, may reveal the agent’s civility.

Civil Disobedience – A Philosophical Overview is by lecturer in justice studies in the Charles Sturt Centre for Law and Justice Dr Piero Moraro (pictured top).

Dr Moraro asks, ‘What is the difference between civil and uncivil disobedience? How can illegal protest be compatible with a democratic regime based on the rule of law? Is Edward Snowden a civil disobedient?’

Civil Disobedience – A Philosophical Overview provides an up-to-date overview of the philosophical literature on civil disobedience, and is ideal for students of political, moral and legal philosophy.

It offers a critical comparison of the different views around specific topics (such as the role of non-violence), rather than a mere author-by-author summary of how the debate has evolved.

“My book follows the philosophical debate over the past 20 years, showing how the notion of civil disobedience has evolved from a form of passive resistance against injustice, to an active way to engage with the political life of the community,” Dr Moraro said.

“Furthermore, in the last chapter I present a new theory of civil disobedience to address some of the unresolved issues and challenges discussed in the book.

“My goal is to show that, citizens who engage in civil disobedience should not be treated as criminals for, in many cases, they are fulfilling their duties as members of democratic societies.

“That is, I argue that, to make sense of civil disobedience, we should expand our conception of political obligation, so to include acts that, despite being illegal, may reveal the agent’s civility.”

This book will be of interest to readers concerned with the role of social protest in the current political context, with particular reference to the case of environmental activism in response to climate change.

Civil Disobedience – A Philosophical Overview is published by Rowman and Littlefield International and can be purchased online at https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781786607164/Civil-Disobedience-A-Philosophical-Overview


Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Dr Piero Moraro contact Bruce Andrews at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0418 669 362 or via news@csu.edu.au

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