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    An exploration of the meaning of political authority and obligation, and an assessment of the possible permissions, duties and techniques that exist for people to resist injustice.

    This paper uses the tools of normative political theory to explore questions relating to struggles for justice. Topics covered include the meaning of injustice, the grounds of legitimate authority, the limits of obedience, and duties of resistance. The paper also includes analysis of historical accounts of resistance, including indigenous movements against settler colonialism, the American civil rights movement, European labour movements and Women's Liberation.

    About this paper

    Paper title The Ethics and Politics of Resistance
    Subject Politics
    EFTS 0.25
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,860.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    POLS 475
    Limited to

    Teaching staff

    Dr David Jenkins


    There are no textbooks for this course. Readings will be based on papers and book chapters.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised

    Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

    Learning Outcomes

    By completion of this paper students will be able to:

    • Demonstrate familiarity with key debates within political theory, especially those pertaining to questions of authority and obligation and justifications for resisting what are perceived as illegitimate authority
    • Produce independent research of a high quality, using combining analysis of complex normative issues with critical assessment of empirical data
    • Demonstrate an ability to engage with others in small discussion settings, with the opportunity to engage in constructive discussions, debates, and scenarios
    • Apply their understanding and knowledge and develop their organizational skills leading part of the weekly seminar


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 13:00-14:50 29-35, 37-42
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