Radical Protest in Constitutional Democracy
MONDAY 6TH – THURSDAY 9TH JUNE 2016
UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN
Protest is a hallowed right within constitutional democracy, allowing for political expression outside the electoral process and established public sphere channels such as the media. But to what extent and in what ways can and/or should constitutional democracy accommodate more radical forms of protest, and particularly illegal forms? What do particular varieties of protest reveal (empirically and normatively) about the scope and limits of constitutional democracy? And how do organizations which use radical protest in a constitutional democracy relate to those which choose not to?
An important emphasis will be on the many movements (from the Suffragettes to the Zapatistas) which defy legal prohibitions while appealing to constitutional (and/or international human) rights, and which may also claim to speak for “the people” as constituent power. We are also interested in the case of more revolutionary movements, understood as those who aim either to create a new constitution or to dispense with constitutionalism altogether (such as the Maoists in India). In general, we will avoid over-generalizing “radical protest” and considering a full range of movements which might be considered radical.
These are only some of the empirical and normative questions that we pose for the workshop. Please view our full Draft Programme for more details on this upcoming workshop.