Episode #9: Just and Unjust Riots

June 16, 2023

In the 9th episode of the Political Science Podcast, our host Enes Kulenović talked with Jonathan Havercroft, associate professor at the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Southampton, about his forthcoming book Just and Unjust Riots: A Normative Analysis of Militant Protest. Can normative political theory draw a fine line between justified and unjustified violent protests? According to what criteria? The author of the book, once a teenager attending a Metallica and Guns'n'Roses concert in Montreal in 1992, that ended in riots, became an expert advising the British government on violent protests. Driven by political skepticism towards the government’s potentially authoritarian policing of the crowds, Havercroft decided to embark on a quite paradoxical terrain, ungrateful for law and still slippery for political theory: the justification and condemnation of political violence by mobs in democratic orders. What about vandalism, looting, and even interpersonal physical violence? Can the liberal-democratic political theory justify such political actions outside the law, the state monopoly of coercion, the institutional apparatus, and even the public in the Habermasian sense? How does Havercroft assess the demolition of monuments, storming the congress, and anti-police protests amid cultural wars and political unrest in Western democracies, and how he does he associate riots with the health of democracy, find out by tuning in to the ninth episode of the Political Science Podcast!

You can listen to the episode on the CPSA YouTube channel or on Spotify:

Annals of the Croatian Political Science Association

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