Liberal political philosophers have traditionally defended a narrow interpretation of civil disobedience, i.e. a concept that applies solely within the domestic sphere and that is subject to several other restrictive criteria. On this view, the ‘civil’ in ‘civil disobedience’ does not only mean ‘non-violent’, it also means ‘civic’: civil disobedience is seen as a practice that only citizens may permissibly engage in, offline and within the nation state, addressing their own governments and fellow citizens.
But recently, empirical developments which challenge established theoretical conceptions of civil disobedience have become increasingly salient. Examples for such developments include transnational social movements which practice civil disobedience to resist against not one, but several national jurisdictions or transnational and international institutions, or non-citizens who engage in civil disobedience in spite of the fact that they are often not seen as legitimate agents of such practices. In addition, several influential theoretical accounts of civil disobedience have emerged in the past few years that interpret the concept more widely.
In our international, interdisciplinary conference series called Civil Disobedience Beyond the State, we address these theoretical gaps by discussing contemporary accounts of civil disobedience and their normative implications in light of empirical challenges such as globalisation and digitalisation. After our workshops at the University of Amsterdam (2014) and at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin (2015), we will be hosting a third and final workshop at the University of Oxford (Nuffield College) on November 25th and 26th, 2015.
Conference organisers: Annette Zimmermann (University of Oxford), Theresa Züger (Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin), Robin Celikates (University of Amsterdam)
This conference has been organised with the generous financial support of Nuffield College, the Amsterdam Center for Globalisation Studies, the NWO-funded project ‘Transformations of Civil Disobedience’ and the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society.
Check the Program and Register Here