Civil Disobedience (Political Science)

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  • The term refers to actions of opposition and defiance by citizens to protest against what they perceive as injustice on the part of their government. The discourse on civil disobedience began with Henry David Thoreau's “Resistance to Civil Government,” later renamed “Civil Disobedience.” It is based on the premise that a government, which represents the interest of the people, is also capable of perversion and abuse, for which it is equally accountable. The injustice may take the form of a specific law or public policy, though the real rationale for action lies in the underlying structure that the unjust policy represents. When injustice occurs in the underlying structure, this theory claims that each citizen has the right to oppose and defy the government. This action, ...

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