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In this essay, I argue that if we assume with free will skeptics that people lack moral responsibility, or at least a central form of it, we may still maintain that people are ‘basically’ deserving of certain treatment in response to their behavior. I characterize basic-desert justifications for treatment negatively, as justifications that do not depend on consequentialist, contractualist, or relational considerations. Appealing to attributionist accounts of responsibility as well as the symbolic value of protest, I identify protest as a response that may be basically deserved even in the absence of free will, on the grounds that it is a fitting response to the intrinsic features of agents and their actions. The position defended is not a standard form of semi-compatibilism as it allows that some responses to behavior—such as punishment—that would be basically deserved were people free are not basically deserved in the absence of free will.
African American culture is best understood as an ongoing community conversation about success that produces homemade citizenship. Because black success so often inspires violence, the community conversation constantly defines and redefines achievement. To pursue success, African Americans debate not only the strategies for attaining it but also its very contours and parameters. That is, they debate how one will even know if one has achieved. As they engage in this process, African Americans create a citizenship that is homemade. Denied basic ingredients like safety by the land of their birth, they cultivate a sense of belonging and achievement that does not depend on civic inclusion; it is a belonging with recourse beyond the nation-state. To recognize homemade citizenship, scholars, teachers, and general readers must look through the lens of achievement rather than resistance. This approach proves especially illuminating when applied to works, such as slave narratives, that readers presume exist to protest injustice. Using the Narrative of Henry Box Brown as a case study, this essay demonstrates the power of reading with an eye toward accomplishment. Brown’s narrative proves animated by a commitment to defining, redefining, and pursuing success while knowing victories inspire violence.
Substance use disorders (SUD) are among the most stigmatized mental health conditions. We explore the social function of SUD stigma, to demarcate the boundaries of acceptable behavior, and summarize how public stigma, self-stigma, and structural stigma increase harm due to SUD by delaying help-seeking, impairing treatment, criminalizing substance users, and reducing the life chances of people with SUD. We identify a continuum model of SUD, and a balanced view of social and individual responsibility, as potential areas where conceptual changes could decrease stigma. Contact-based interventions, education, and protest are strategies to overcome the stigma of SUD. Addressing the stigma of SUD will help to create a culture of hope, empowerment, and compassion, as well as high quality, stigma-free care for people with SUD.
The unrest in 2019 surprised many in the protesters’ militancy and their radical political consciouness. Previous literature on Hong Kong politics, society, and culture is not adequate in explaining this sudden and broad-based outburst of resistance. Hong Kong’s struggle for autonomy is an example of city’s struggle for freedom against centralizing nation states throughout the history of global capitalism. This book shows how the larger global political economic forces shape the political terrain of Hong Kong, as China’s offshore financial center at the edges of great powers. The analysis in the book will combine careful examination of large structural trends and recognition of the agency of different groups of Hong Kongers.
This chapter sets out a non-retributive conception of blame and of self-blame, that is, one that does not invoke the notion of basically deserved pain or harm. To blame is instead to take on a non-retributive stance of moral protest. The reasons for moral protest are forward-looking: moral formation or reconciliation in a relationship that has been impaired due to wrongdoing, protection from wrongdoing, and restoration of the integrity of its victims. Regret, a painful response to one’s own wrongdoing, which by contrast with guilt (by stipulation) does not involve the supposition that the pain it involves is basically deserved, may appropriately accompany self-blame. The pain of guilt, an attitude distinct from regret, conceptually involves basic desert since it involves the supposition that it would be prima facie permissible for those who are appropriately situated to impose it on a wrongdoer for a non-instrumental reason. The pain of regret, by contrast, does not involve this supposition.
This article addresses second-wave feminist interventions in Canadian foreign policy debate with reference to two analytic streams: (1) political science and international relations (IR) perspectives since the late 1990s that stress the formal decisional aims of advocacy and the role of transnational networks in pressuring reluctant governments and (2) sociological approaches that underline movements’ cultural as well as statist dimensions and the significance of their domestic political strategies. Examining engagement by the Voice of Women (VOW) in nuclear weapons debates and National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) in free trade controversies confirms sociological expectations of campaigners’ varied claims and contributions and the importance of their political rootedness in Canada. Consistent with political science and IR arguments, the study finds NAC paid growing attention to international political opportunities in 1990 and following. The conclusion considers implications of the analysis and directions for future research.
Mainstream pro-war news media reporting of the 2003 Iraq War was highly sanitized in a way that reduced war coverage to a cinematic spectacle. The picture that was painted by the coalition mainstream media reporters was of a war free of images of suffering, destruction, dissent, and diplomacy, but full of sophisticated US weaponry, chivalrous “heroism” and militarist “humanitarianism.” The US control of news media framing (through censorship and embedding systems) shielded viewers from the “realities” of the battlefield through recourse to maneuvering “avoidance” strategies, such as the “dehistorization,” “depersonalization,” and “decontextualization” of the unfolding conflict. By muting dissenting voices, the pro-war coalition media frames manufactured an “interpretive dominance” that was inextricably structured in hegemony and social control.
Civil society leaders develop relationships with officials and engage in contentious politics. Some resort to destructive tactics like arson and assault to target the officials they work with. Why do civil society leaders use destructive protest tactics? This article argues that leaders use destructive tactics when both they and officials need clear information and when leaders believe that officials will offer lucrative agreements to stop destructive protests. The research suggests that this dynamic is more likely in weakly institutionalized, highly politicized, and resource-strapped environments. The research supports the argument by process-tracing cases of peaceful and destructive protest by street vendor organizations and officials’ responses in El Alto, Bolivia. The argument and cases suggest that civil society leaders are more likely to target women and other minoritized people because leaders are more likely to underestimate minoritized officials, but that these officials are then more likely to punish the perpetrators.
The recent barbaric murder of an investigative journalist in Malta who was looking into corruption at the top echelons of power sparked off a civil society movement, Repubblika, spurring ordinary citizens into participating in collective protest action. The movement also incorporated a loose grouping of women calling themselves ‘Occupy Justice’. Different forms of protest against government corruption have resulted in the resignation of various senior politicians and high-ranking officials, including the Prime Minister. Taking as a point of departure the struggle against the unequal distribution of power as defined by Michel Foucault and Jacques Rancière, the empowering force of civil protest is here examined in relation to how power is appropriated and how institutional power is resisted. Micromobilization and mesomobilization are seen as two means of staging protest and creating a common force with which to confront corrupt power structures. Protest, power, and resistance are viewed in the light of theatrical events; the creative means deployed to stage protests are discussed. The aesthetic qualities meant to transform perception and move people to action for bringing about political change are highlighted in relation to both sensory and symbolic dynamics. Vicki Ann Cremona is Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Malta and the author of Carnival and Power: Play and Politics in a Crown Colony (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), as well as a co-editor of Theatre Scandals: Social Dynamics of Turbulent Theatrical Events (Brill-Rodopi, 2020).
For decades, Hong Kong has maintained precarious freedom at the edge of competing world powers. In City on the Edge, Ho-fung Hung offers a timely and engaging account of Hong Kong's development from precolonial times to the present, with particular focus on the post 1997 handover period. Through careful analysis of vast economic data, a myriad of political events, and intricate networks of actors and ideas, Hung offers readers insight into the fraught economic, political, and social forces that led to the 2019 uprising, while situating the protests in the context of global finance and the geopolitics of the US-China rivalry. A provocative contribution to the discussion on Hong Kong's position in today's world, City on the Edge demonstrates that the resistance and repression of 2019-2020 does not spell the end of Hong Kong but the beginning of a long conflict with global repercussions.
This chapter examines public responses to new urban shopping spaces and interrogates the idea of voracious consumer demand which underpinned major retail developments. I show that the projections of ‘demand’ which were put together in support of redevelopment were not borne out by the poor trading experience of many new shopping facilities after opening. The politically embarrassing failures of high-profile ‘white elephants’ prompted both government and the development industry to take much more seriously the complexities and limits of ‘demand’ in the affluent society. The chapter also probes some broader questions about the nature of Britain’s post-war affluent society. By the later 1960s, it was already clear that projections of inexorably expanding prosperity were misjudged, and the installation of expensive new shopping facilities at the heart of British urban life began to look somewhat misplaced. I highlight the rising currents of protest against the commercially driven course of urban transformation which became increasingly pronounced at this time. Citizens, activists and academics began to critique the encroachment of the retail economy over ever more of the city’s shared spaces. The chapter also considers the political implications of the widespread installation of enclosed, privately owned shopping spaces across the urban centres of post-war Britain.
It will be familiar to many that the environmental emergency of our times generates a number of difficulties for our thinking of law and society. It is argued in this essay that the languages of place-making make some sense of these predicaments. The essay proceeds through the close reading of an Extinction Rebellion protest and two landmark judgments. The protests, and their policing, are keyed to specific places and their atmospheres. A first judgment concerns the destruction of habitat and the extinction of native wildlife species; a second concerns the impact of coal mining on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. A sense of place emerges with the aesthetic reason of judgment. The emblems and topics of legal speech, it is argued, give form and technique to the writing of place. A renewed jurisprudence of topography makes legible the meeting places of law and the environmental emergency.
The ‘right of public meeting’ has historically been a key demand of extra-parliamentary political movements in England. This paper examines how public assembly came to be perceived as a legally protected right, and how national and local authorities debated and policed political meetings. Whereas previous histories have suggested that a ‘liberal governance’ dominated urban government during the nineteenth century, this paper offers an alternative framework for understanding the relationship between people and the state. It points to rights paradoxes, whereby the right of free passage and to ‘air and recreation’ often conflicted with the demand for the right of political meeting in challenges to use of public spaces. Local authorities sought to defend the rights of property against political movements by using the common law offences of obstruction and ‘nuisance’. By the first half of the twentieth century, new threats of militant tactics and racial harassment by political groups necessitated specific public order legislation. Though twentieth-century legislation sought to protect certain types of assembly and protest marches, the implementation and policing of public order was spatially discriminatory, and the right of public meeting was left unresolved.
Chapter 2 provides an in-depth exploration of the more open state opposition structure of the Hosni Mubarak regime – which groups were co-opted, which were included and allowed to participate, and which were excluded from formal political participation – and traces the impact of these different types of opportunity structures on the political and outreach activities that different groups undertook. We see that opposition groups that were excluded from the formal political system, such as Islamist groups and pro-reform umbrella groups, adjusted their strategies in response to exclusion and were alternately tolerated and repressed by the regime. During periods of toleration, these groups – especially Islamist groups – were able to establish an extensive grassroots presence through charities, community self-help organizations, private mosques, and individual religious outreach activities. These activities at the grassroots level, while not always directly confronting the state, constituted the construction of a “parallel society” that quietly contested the regime’s legitimacy. During periods of repression, members of these groups retreated underground and into informal networks until they found new venues through which to engage with their communities.
The “vulgar,” as political actors, would play important roles in the resistance to imperial policies, and the “vulgar,” as political speech, would inform the eraʼs confrontational political dialogue. The language of protest in the 1760s and 1770s expressed political critique not only of imperial policies but also of the legal institutions and practices that promoted them. In fact, genteel cultural and political authority, which had been drawn from conduct and courtesy books and the polite coffeehouses of the metropole and extended through statutes and courtrooms, was severely tested by protest and rebellion. Under the previous regime, as politeness joined piety as a core cultural value for the Massachusetts elite, the language of statutes, prosecutions, and depositions had shifted to the rhetoric of gentility in addition to godliness. General sessions courts had imagined the portion of good social order, “the king’s peace,” that had to do with speech as a nearly exclusively masculine space governed by the metropolitan code of refinement. Prosecutions for vulgar speech had constructed a social hierarchy based in politeness, but it would not survive the Revolution intact.
This chapter grounds the manuscript’s argument in debates about persisting inequalities in participation and representation. It starts with an overview of collective action in the United States. It describes how American colonists united in collective action events like the Boston Tea Party to demand representation in the British Parliament and how those efforts led to the Declaration of Independence and the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which proclaim the legitimacy and right of protest.
Next, the chapter provides definitions for protest, collective action, resource disparities, and protest costs. The chapter also describes differences in protest costs for groups of different resource capacities. It discusses why legislators might be responsive to protest efforts, particularly those by lower-resource groups. Finally, the chapter describes how the book will develop the central argument that legislators are most likely to support the protest demands of politically marginalized groups.
Chapter 3 presents the results from a survey of local, state, and national elected officials and their staffers. Gause created the survey to empower the people who determine whether collective action demands influence legislative behavior to describe their views on collective action. Notably, the survey responses provide insights into several conditions that must be present for the book’s argument to be accurate. First, legislators must be aware of collective action. If not, then collective action cannot reasonably influence legislative behavior. Second, legislators must believe protest has value for their legislative behavior. Otherwise, legislators will simply ignore the collective action they observe. Third, (any) collective action must influence legislative behavior. Fourth, legislators must be strategic actors who respond to some collective action events more than others. Finally, legislators must observe and act upon differences in protest costs. The survey responses provide meaning, context, and understanding to the book’s central claim. They suggest that the people who determine legislative behavior think they act in ways that align with the theoretical argument.
The fact that legislators are more likely to represent protests, particularly protests done by disadvantaged groups, demonstrates the agency of low-resource groups. Is requiring such demanding and inegalitarian participation sustainable? Does the fact legislators’ unequal representation favors disadvantaged groups, perhaps only, after protest mean that the United States is a functioning democratic republic? Does legislators’ support of costlier protest improve democratic representation, or does it only provide symbolic representation?
The concluding chapter engages events like the Boston Massacre and Black Lives Matter protests in Ferguson, Missouri, to answer these questions. The chapter also discusses Representative William Clay Jr.’s attempts to represent the BLM protesters in his district and activist Cory Bush’s eventually successful challenge for Clay’s seat. Finally, it evaluates collective action’s influence on policing legislation.
These examples illuminate protesters’ resource disparities and social movements’ influence. They highlight the time horizon of protest influence on legislative behavior, and they help assess legislators’ motivations to respond to protest demands.
This chapter considers whether the Internet alters the relationship between protesters’ resources and legislative behavior. Gause argues that digital technologies reduce costs more for online protests than offline protests, making online protests less likely to receive legislative support. Moreover, digital technologies decrease protest costs; however, they do so primarily for high-resource groups. Nevertheless, digital technologies have changed the role of formal interest groups. In the past, formal interest groups provided resources that made it hard for legislators to detect issue salience. Online, viral collective action is more indicative of social media stimuli and influencers than high issue salience. Formal interest groups are now vital to legislative behavior.
To assess these arguments, Gause collects data on protests covered in 2012 in newspapers across the United States. Gause finds that legislators are more likely to support online protests than in-person protests. Whether online or offline, legislators are more likely to support costlier protests. Consequently, protest costs continue to dictate how legislators respond to protest demands.