Re-thinking civil disobedience
|Published in:||Internet Policy Review, 2(4)|
This article points out a struggle of today’s societies with the traditional concepts of civil disobedience and stresses the need for reevaluation of the concept of civil disobedience for policy making and public discourse. Starting with a minimal definition of civil disobedience, the article introduces Hannah Arendt’s approach for a legitimisation of civil disobedience and discusses her ideas for digital actions, which are increasingly framed as digital forms of civil disobedience. Addressing WikiLeaks as an example of digital civil disobedience, the author problematises the internal secrecy of WikiLeaks and the focus on Julian Assange as a single decision-maker. Both aspects challenge Arendt’s understanding of legitimate civil disobedience. Even though traditional criteria of civil disobedience need to be revisited in the digital age, organisations or disobedience actors might themselves in their actions be well-advised to comply with the principles they fight for.
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