Keeping democracy alive: Whistleblowing, civil disobedience, and discourse | Allison Stanger

August 7th, 2019

Big Think

From the Revolutionary War, to Rosa Parks and #MeToo, whistleblowing and civil disobedience are in America's DNA. - The first U.S. whistleblower protection law was passed unanimously in 1778 in response to the misconduct of Navy Commodore Esek Hopkins. - Whistleblowing and civil disobedience are tools of discourse that keep elites honest and protect democracy. - The difference? Whistleblowers are insiders who expose improper conduct to the authorities or to the press. Civil disobedience starts with outsiders whose actions slowly gain popular support, which then catalyzes change. Allison Stanger is the Russell Leng ’60 Professor of International Politics and Economics at Middlebury College, a New America Cybersecurity Fellow, and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is also the author of "One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy" and has contributed to Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, and The Washington Post. Her latest book, "Whistleblowers: Honesty in America from Washington to Trump" is available for pre-order ( Read more at Give yourself the gift of knowledge — subscribe to Big Think Edge: If you're interested in licensing this or any other Big Think clip for commercial or private use, contact our licensing partner Executive Interviews: Read more at Follow Big Think here: YouTube: Facebook: Twitter: