|dc.description.abstract||A comprehensive survey of the designs of systems of representative democracy shows that there are legitimate ways for people to participate in politics, such as the initiative rights and the referendum rights, which could also be a shelter for protecting civil rights when the system is running down. On the other hand, since civil disobedience is beyond the reach of the legal system, it’s difficult to justify that the moral conscience, natural rights and value judgments of the individual or the minorities could exert on others, on the majorities, even override the law, particularly when we lack universal consensus on principles of justice and freedom. After all, the abuse of civil disobedience may jeopardize the foundation of democratic system.
However, in the actual practice of representative democracy, people really have a number of predicaments, for instance, the popular representatives do not reflect faithfully and correctly the public opinions, or the government adopts the opinion of the majority with a total neglect of the minority. Facing such predicaments of exclusion, non-responsiveness, and legitimacy crisis of representative democracy, civil disobedience is often justified. Meanwhile, those advocates of civil disobedience believe that their actions do not go against the democratic spirit and lofty moral conscientiousness, rather they believe that such actions represent the value of individual freedom, striving for better opportunity for the participation of politics, and offer another channel for actualization of freedom and democracy. Therefore, when citizens encounter various kinds predicaments of representative democratic system, such as government is not providing free participation in politics, violates justice, or the government and society system is too non-responsive, the retaining of a rational space for civil disobedience would be an alternative for the realization of freedom and justice.||en_US|