Eraldo Souza dos Santos: Research & CV

Civil Disobedience: A Conceptual History

Research Area 2: Norms & Transgressions

Contact: eraldo.santos(@)

In the last half century, civil disobedience has become a fundamental topos of our political language. The meaning of the phrase, however, has been contested on more than one occasion – from discussions on the radicalism of Occupy Wall Street’s political aims, to controversy over the legitimacy of Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing, and recent debates on the release of “Committee Confidential” information during then-Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings to the U.S. Supreme Court. My current research project seeks to contribute to such debates by offering the first conceptual history of civil disobedience. By consulting both published materials and archival sources from three continents, I analyze the historical development of the phrase from its circulation in abolitionist circles in the mid-nineteenth century, to Gandhi’s anti-colonial resistance, and its eventual appropriation by American liberals during the 1960s and 1970s.



2015– : Ph.D. in Philosophy, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Advisor: Jean-François Kervegan

2013–2015: M.A. in Philosophy (French and German Philosophies in the European Context, ERASMUS Mundus – EuroPhilosophie), Charles University, Bergische Universität Wuppertal and Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

2009–2013: B.A. in Philosophy, University of São Paulo


  • “Variationen über das bilderlose Wesen der Musik: Bilderverbot als Motiv der Musikphilosophie Theodor W. Adornos.” In “Der Schein des Lichts, der ins Gefängnis selber fällt”. Religion, Metaphysik, Kritische Theorie (Ansgar Martins, Grazyna Jurewicz, Dirk Braunstein, eds.). Berlin: Neofelis, 2018.