Civil disobedience in the shadows of postnationalization and privatization
Bringing together normative political theory and recent empirical research on the state, the essay examines the challenges posed by the postnationalization and privatization of state authority to conventional accounts of civil disobedience. It does so by taking a careful look at John Rawls’ influential theory of civil disobedience along with its oftentimes neglected implicit assumptions about state and society, assumptions which turn out to have reproduced commonplace postwar statist and Westphalian ideas, including the optimistic view that the liberal democratic nation state should prove up to the task of successfully regulating and perhaps civilizing capitalism. Postnationalization and privatization render those assumptions problematic. Consequently, the Rawlsian model that was partly constructed on them becomes problematic as well. However, some of its features transcend the obsolescent empirical assumptions on which it was implicitly built. Theorists of civil disobedience should not just deconstruct b...