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The global age is distinguished by disobedience, from the protests in Tiananmen Square to the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the anti-G8 and anti-WTO demonstrations. In this book, Raffaele Laudani offers a systematic review of how disobedience has been conceptualised, supported, and criticised throughout history. Laudani documents the appearance of 'disobedience' in the political lexicon from ancient times to the present, and explains the word's manifestations, showing how its semantic wealth transcended its liberal interpretations in the 1960s and 1970s. Disobedience, Laudani finds, is not merely an alternative to revolution and rebellion, but a different way of conceiving radical politics, one based on withdrawal of consent and defection in relation to the established order.