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Introduction to the Authority of Law and Social Protest

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the understanding of the basis, strength and reach of authority, a clearer understanding of the nature of civil disobedience, the importance of the rule of law and the primacy of collective human rights over the rights of legal persons. Conscientious objection is a private act, designed to protect agent from interference by public authority. The legality of social protest movements depends primarily on presence of collective mora judgments that arise in stark contrast with present laws and the status quo. The chapter argues that the "sovereignty first" doctrine is slowly being supplemented by new conflict resolution which we dub "earned sovereignty". Self-determination, and respect for ethnic/ cultural and religious groups are the strongest reasons for revolt against oppressing states and governments, and the motive most likely to spur violent protests and terrorist attacks, as well as most likely basis to elicit public support for that "cause".

Keywords: "sovereignty first" doctrine; civil disobedience; collective human rights; law authority; self-determination; social protest; social protest movements



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