This paper was written in preparation for a talk at the Catholic University of Chile (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile) in December 2019. I was invited to reflect on the widespread and often violent protests that had occurred in Chile during the last three months of 2019 from a standpoint of political theory and the human rights movement. Key themes in this paper include the necessary conditions for the legitimacy of a government and the role of human rights (and the equal or unequal value that such rights may have for different people) in that context; a distinction between policy-based and legitimacy/justice-based protests and one between persuasive and nonpersuasive means of protest, and how they apply to highly economically unequal societies in general and to the situation in Chile in particular; some considerations directed at protesters as they think about expanding nonpersuasive means of protest to include destruction and violence; some considerations exploring the responsibilities of the government of Chile under these circumstances; and finally some thoughts drawing on the adaptive leadership approach on current challenges for Chilean politics.
Risse, Mathias. "Human Rights & Social Order: Philosophical, Practical, and Public Policy Dimensions." December 2019.