Evaluation of Dworkin's and Habermas's Approach to Civil Disobedience

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Evaluation of Dworkin's and Habermas's Approach to Civil Disobedience

The following essay will attempt to evaluate the approach taken by Dworkin and Habermas on their views of civil disobedience. The two main pieces of literature referred to will be Dworkin?s paper on 'Civil Disobedience and Nuclear Protest?' and Habermas's paper on 'Civil Disobedience: Litmus Test for the Democratic Constitutional State.' An outline of both Dworkin's and Habermas's approach will be given , further discussion will then focus on a reflective evaluation of these approaches. Firstly though, it is worth commenting on civil disobedience in a more general context. Most would agree that civil disobedience is a 'vital and protected form of political
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And secondly , how should the government react? Dworkin makes the point that civil disobedience will be easier to justify if it doesn?t challenge majority rule, and that there should be a rights clause in any action that states that the majority should not advance its own interests at the expense of other peoples rights (this thus gets around any argument for terrorism or violence).#

In the case of integrity based disobedience, the case seems fairly clear cut in that people who are protesting for these reasons do the right thing based on their beliefs and so, in Dworkin?s mind also they do the right thing. Because matters such as this are typically very urgent in their nature there is no need to stipulate that all legal options to reverse the decision be exhausted. Dworkin states that both persuasive based and non-persuasive forms of disobedience are justified in these cases.#

Of more complexity are the justice and policy based arguments for civil disobedience. Addressing the former, the conditions on when civil disobedience are justified become more rigid in that Dworkin believes for civil disobedience to be justified in this case people should first exhaust the normal political process before they partake in the disobedience.# Further to this, Dworkin also insists that citizens partaking

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