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NCJ Number: 121696 Find in a Library
Title: Civil Disobedience as Functional Opposition (From Civil Disobedience, P 271-286, Paul Harris, ed. -- See NCJ-121683)
Author(s): P F Power
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: University Press of America
Lanham, MD 20706
Sale Source: University Press of America
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Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Civil disobedience represents a form of political opposition to governmental authority and provides certain functional benefits to the conventional oppositions, to the government, to the political system, and to the social system.
Abstract: Democracy is based on certain values, including the need for private and governmental efforts to advance the number and quality of human rights and public goods and the preservation of significant gains through a moving balance between conflict and stability and between the few and the many. Civil disobedience is a deliberate, public, stated infraction of the government's rules, aimed at changing law or policy, conducted without violence and with consideration of the rights of others. Thus, it is an illegal but disciplined challenge to the regime's laws or policies and may directly or indirectly produce healthy changes that enable the conventional oppositions like political parties and interest groups, the regime, the political system, and the social system to perform democratically. In addition, many of the functional benefits of civil disobedient are latent for the oppositions and the systems, but are manifest for the government. Despite their functional roles, these benefits do not represent an ideological argument for civil disobedience, however. 28 reference notes.
Main Term(s): Civil disobedience
Index Term(s): Citizen grievances; Political influences
Note: Reprinted from The Journal of Politics, V 34, N 1, February 1972
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