This study focuses primarily on the nature of "direct action" in relation to contemporary movements, and considers the role of direct action methods in past campaigns for constitutional and social rights. Boycotts, sit-ins, obstructions, civil disobedience and other unconstitutional forms of protest are examined to see whether they necessarily lead to violence. The political conditions which encourage violence and the effects of various type of violent action are also discussed. The theoretical issues raised by direct action in a parliamentary system are also discussed.
‘Direct Action and Liberal Democracy is none the less thorough and perceptive for being very succinct.’ – The Times Literary Supplement
1. The Meaning of direct action. 2. Direct Action in the Constitutional Tradition. 3. The Politics of Direct Action Campaigns. 4. Violence and Power. 5. Civil Disobedience and Constitutionalism 6. Direct action and liberal values. 7. Direct action and democracy. Conclusion.