Author : Erin R. Pineda
Genre : Political Science
Publisher : Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN : 9780197526422
Type book : PDF, Epub, Kindle and Mobi
File Download : 281 page
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There are few movements more firmly associated with civil disobedience than the Civil Rights Movement. In the mainstream imagination, civil rights activists eschewed coercion, appealed to the majority's principles, and submitted willingly to legal punishment in order to demand necessarylegislative reforms and facilitate the realization of core constitutional and democratic principles. Their fidelity to the spirit of the law, commitment to civility, and allegiance to American democracy provided the blueprint for activists pursuing racial justice, and set the normative standard forliberal philosophies of civil disobedience.In this book, Erin R. Pineda argues that insofar as the Civil Rights Movement provides a crucial motivating example of what civil disobedience must be, the standard cultural narrative of the movement does more than misremember history; it also distorts our political judgments about how civildisobedience might fit into democratic politics more generally. Pineda contends that using the Civil Rights Movement as a disciplining example and moral exemplar is neither accidental nor random; it has been deeply influential in the formation of predominant ideas about civil disobedience, bothwithin academia and public discourse.Seeing Like an Activist charts the emergence of mainstream theories of civil disobedience and demonstrates their reliance on a stylized, politically expedient narrative in which civilly disobedient protestors must submit to legal punishment, use persuasive rather than coercive means, and appeal toconstitutional principles to signal legitimacy. Such theories take for granted the legitimacy of the constitutional order, assume constitutional integrity and stability, and center the white citizen as the normative ideal, figuring the problem of racial injustice as limited, exceptional, andall-but-already solved. Instead, this book "sees" civil disobedience from the perspective of an activist, showing the consequences for ideas about how civil disobedience ought to unfold in the present. Building on historical and archival evidence, Pineda shows how civil rights activists, in concertwith anticolonial movements across the globe, turned to civil disobedience as a practice of decolonization in order to emancipate themselves and others, and in the process transform the racial order. Pineda recovers this powerful alternative account only by adopting a different theoreticalapproach--one which sees activists as themselves engaged in the creative work of political theorizing.