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HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Administration

Abstract

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.

Citation

Risse, Mathias. "Human Rights & Social Order: Philosophical, Practical, and Public Policy Dimensions." December 2019.