JBSP Online: Steffen Herrmann – ‘Civil Disobedience: A Phenomenological Approach’

journal update

Available now online, a new article for the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology by Steffen Herrmann (FernUniversität, Germany).

Steffen Herrmann – “Civil Disobedience: A Phenomenological Approach”

JBSP (Received 28 Mar 2023, Accepted 12 Dec 2023, Published online: 05 Jan 2024).

Abstract: In this paper, I discuss three objections against climate activism often voiced in the public, namely that their practices of civil disobedience are ultimately insincere, illegal, and ineffective. The main part of my paper focuses on this last point. This is because this objection points us to a deeper conceptual problem of political protest: if one of the conditions for the success of civil disobedience is that political demands must have been first voiced via democratic channels of opinion-formation, then why should we assume that a re-articulation of these demands in the course of civil disobedience leads to a different result? To answer this question, I propose a phenomenological approach to civil disobedience. Drawing on the protest practices of activist group Act Up, I argue that climate activism can escape the charge of ineffectiveness if it resorts to what I call the “aesthetic rationality of phenomenological demonstration.”

Full article: https://doi.org/10.1080/00071773.2023.2296397

Steffen Herrmann, Department of Philosophy, FernUniversität, Hagen, Germany

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