Revitalizing democracy through civil disobedience

Juan Carlos Velasco


Civil disobedience is a widespread form of political protest used by minorities to make their voices heard in democratic societies. It is a mechanism of participation in the process of shaping public opinion, and of intervention, by via negativa, in the legislative process. In exercising it, citizens can assert their public autonomy when faced with serious decisions that, from their perspective, undermine the values on which society is based. This form of political dissidence is thus a highly valuable device in order to revitalize the participatory fundamentals of representative democracy.

Keywords: civil disobedience, representative democracy, political participation, citizenship, social change, Arendt, Habermas.

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