Revolutions are violent overthrows of a system of government. At the other end of the continuum are reforms which seek to use legal avenues to shore up or fix defects in a system while still leaving its essential features intact. What may lie between these two extremes? What other modes of political change and agitation exist?
We explore the political tactics of civil disobedience, strikes and "riots." Among the questions we will ask are the following: When does the law permit and how does the law regulate each of these types of political actions? Is this legal regulation fair or just? When are these tactics legitimate or productive? Is there a way to break the law that still pays respect to it? Are these tactics revolutionary or reformist or neither? We will work through a wide variety of legal, historical, and theoretical texts.
Law is the starting point, far from the ending point for us to address these theoretical questions.
Fair warning: The readings in this course will not be excessive but it will be extensive. You are expected to complete all it.