More and more people around the world are protesting to defend their rights, resist injustice or oppose undemocratic rule. In this book, April Carter debates the nature and meaning of such protest and discusses the relationship between direct action and peoplea s claims for greater democratic control, not only against repressive regimes but also in liberal parliamentary states. The book begins by looking at non--violent direct action in historical context, tracing its evolution from the end of the Second World War to the present day. It examines the association between direct action and the social movements of recent decades and charts its role in the new global movement against neo--liberal economic policies. The second part of the book relates direct action to political theory to ascertain how it fits with theories of liberal, republican and deliberative democracy. It goes on to consider socialist and cosmopolitan approaches to democracy and popular resistance and concludes by looking at the implications of protest politics for current democratic thinking and contemporary world events. This book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of international politics and political theory.