Dissent and Democracy in American History

What forms has dissent taken in U.S. history? What is the role of dissent in a representative democracy? Introduction What is dissent? What role has dissent played in the development of American democracy? The Oxford English Dictionary helps us begin to answer the first question. The OED defines dissent as “difference of opinion or sentiment;[…]

History and Theories of Civil Disobedience

Civil disobedience can be distinguished from other active forms of protest, such as rioting, because of its passivity and non-violence. Introduction Civil disobedience encompasses the active refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government or of an occupying power without resorting to physical violence. Based on the position that laws can be[…]

Civil Disobedience in Modern Iran: History, Challenges, Prospects for Change

An interview with Mohsen Sazegara, exiled dissident, journalist and writer from Iran. When I sat down with Mohsen Sazegara, exiled dissident, journalist and writer from Iran, to talk about civil resistance in his origin country, I got an unexpected lesson in physics. A former student of mechanical engineering, Sazegara found a way to apply the[…]