East Meets West in Civil Disobedience Theory and Beyond: Lessons from Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

East Meets West in Civil Disobedience Theory and Beyond: Lessons from Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., in THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY YEARBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL LAW & JURISPRUDENCE 2015, at 125 (Giuliana Ziccardi Capaldo ed., Oxford Univ. Press 2016)

Posted: 12 Dec 2016

See all articles by Karen C. Sokol

Karen C. Sokol

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law

Date Written: December 1, 2015

Abstract

Mohandas K. Gandhi merged Eastern and Western legal, religious, and philosophical thought to create a basis for a theory of civil disobedience — “satyagraha” — that he applied with great efficacy in fighting against racial and social injustice in India. Martin Luther King, Jr., subsequently based one of his principal strategies for pursuing racial and social justice in the United States on Gandhi’s theory. In this Comment, I argue that the fusion of Eastern and Western thought underlying satyagraha is a significant reason for its consistent and increasing salience in national and international policy debates. I then examine the actions of Edward Snowden in light of this theory. I conclude with the suggestion that the power of this merger of disciplines and cultural norms should be extended beyond theories of civil disobedience to realize the potential power of law as a tool for advancing human health, safety, and dignity, and environmental protections.

Keywords: civil disobedience, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., satyagraha, Edward Snowden

Suggested Citation

Sokol, Karen C., East Meets West in Civil Disobedience Theory and Beyond: Lessons from Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. (December 1, 2015). East Meets West in Civil Disobedience Theory and Beyond: Lessons from Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., in THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY YEARBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL LAW & JURISPRUDENCE 2015, at 125 (Giuliana Ziccardi Capaldo ed., Oxford Univ. Press 2016), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2881568

Karen C. Sokol (Contact Author)

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law ( email )

7214 St. Charles Avenue, Box 901
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
504-861-5593 (Phone)
504-861-5733 (Fax)

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