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Civil Disobedience: Litmus Test for the Democratic Constitutional State

Author: Jürgen Habermas

In: Berkeley Journal of Sociology, Vol 30, 1985, pp. 95-116

Habermas, one of today’s major social theorists, is associated with the concept of ‘new social movements’ in the 1970s, and developing the theory of ‘deliberative democracy’. Argues for the potential value of civil disobedience as a means of upholding democratic principles.
Other important essays by Habermas are: ‘Hannah Arendt’s Communicative Concept of Power’ in Steven Lukes ed., Power, Oxford, Blackwell, pp. 75-93, arguing for a structural interpretation of power.
And Habermas, Jürgen , What does Socialism Mean Today? The Rectifying Revolution and the Need for New Thinking on the Left New Left Review, 1990, pp. 3-21 , an interpretation of the nature and significance of the 1989 revolutions from a democratic socialist perspective.