Right of revolution

Political concept

In political philosophy, right of revolution is the right or duty of the people to overthrow a government that acts against their common interests.


  • In cases of insurrection against tyranny, the most difficult challenge to meet with respect to jus ad bellum is having competent authority. Private individuals and rebel groups cannot as such constitute competent authority. Meeting it depends on the insurrection's leaders being representative of the people, and depends on the nature of that representativeness being open to include some moral permission or moral right to lead an insurrection. I suspect that meeting the challenge has only rarely been achieved.
    • James G. Murphy, SJ, War's Ends: Human Rights, International Order, and the Ethics of Peace (Georgetown University Press: 2014)

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