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Civil Disobedience Beyond the State III

The Right of Resistance in a Globalised World

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.


November 25th, 2015

1:00 pm – 1:30 pmArrival and registration
1.30 pm – 2 pmIntroduction
2:00 pm – 4.00 pmPanel 1, Clay Room, Nuffield College:

Simon Caney (University of Oxford): Political Legitimacy and Resisting Global Injustice

Ashwini Vasanthakumar (University of York): tba

4.00 pm – 4:30 pmCoffee / tea break
4:30 pm – 6:30 pmKeynote lecture, Oxford Town Hall, Council Chamber:

Karuna Mantena (Yale University): tba

7:00 pm – 9:00 pmDinner for invited speakers and organisers (Nuffield)

November 26th, 2015

10:00 am – 12:00 amPanel 2, Clay Room:

Kimberley Brownlee (Warwick University): Can there be Conscientious Disobedience on a Global Stage?

Leslie Green (University of Oxford): tba

12:00 am – 1:30 pmLight sandwich lunch (Nuffield)
1:30 pm – 3:30 pmPanel 3, Clay Room:

Temi Ogunye (independent): Global Justice and Transnational Civil Disobedience

Will Smith (Chinese University of Hong Kong): Civil Disobedience as Transnational Disruption

3:30 pm – 4:00 pmCoffee / tea break
4:00 pm – 6:00 pmPanel 4, Clay Room:

Javier Hidalgo (Richmond University): The Duty to Resist Immigration Restrictions

Luis Cabrera (Griffith University): Global Civil Disobedience and the Averted Gaze: On Strict Legality vs. Leniency in the Context of Unauthorized Migration

6:00 pm – 6:10 pmshort break
6:10 pm – 6:50 pmConcluding group discussion, Butler Room, Nuffield College
7:00 pm – 8:00 pmInformal drinks for all participants (tba)
8:00 pm – 9:30 pmDinner for invited speakers and organisers (local restaurant);
other participants welcome to join at own cost.

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.

Booking note:

Attendance is free, but you must register in order to be able to attend, as space is strictly limited. Registration: Please note that the keynote lecture will take place at the Oxford Town Hall and requires a separate (free) registration:

Links to previous conferences:

Event date

25.11.2015 - 26.11.2015 ical | gcal


Nuffield College,  1 New Road,   Oxford


Theresa Züger, Dr.

Research Group Lead: Public Interest AI | AI & Society Lab


This high-profile lecture series thrives to develop a European perspective on the processes of transformation that our societies are currently undergoing.


Once a month we publicly discuss the impact of digitalisation on the society. Therefore we invite special guests and engage in a dialogue with the audience.


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