From Socrates to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Occupy Wall Street movement, individuals and groups have committed unlawful acts to declare and protest the immoral and undemocratic character of certain policies, laws and institutions. Under which conditions are acts of civil disobedience justified? What is their political role in making societies more just and democratic? And who can engage in such acts against whom? These are some of the questions at the base of our research as we rethink the concept of civil disobedience.

The Disobedience Project is a source of public sharing for information related to the ongoing project, Transformations of Civil Disobedience: Democratization, Globalization, Digitalization. Funded by a NWO-VIDI Grant and located at the University of Amsterdam, the project seeks to re-conceptualize predominant notions of civil disobedience in light of its ongoing transformations. It starts from the diagnosis that the predominant understanding of civil disobedience fails to capture the challenge these transformations pose and risks undermining its democratic potential. In three strongly interwoven and mutually constitutive subprojects, the project seeks to fill the corresponding gap by addressing three unfolding processes that fundamentally change the practice of disobedience and challenge its theoretical conceptualization: Democratization, Globalization, Digitalization.

This project team consists of Dr. Robin Celikates, associate professor of social and political philosophy, and Natasha Basu and Carlos Bernardo Caycedo C., two PhD researchers. It is our aim to combine philosophical analysis with empirical evidence from the social sciences to deconstruct dominant notions of civil disobedience in order to consider new political practices and experiences that can be incorporated within the philosophical debate.

We invite you to explore these transformations with us by visiting our site for updates on the progress of our project, checking out relevant texts in our links/bibliography section and staying updated through our list of events. We would like to thank all of our contributors; especially those using Creative Commons licenses, for this allows us to share their material with the world. To check a list of our contributors click here.

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