Contemporary Political Theory

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 135–157 | Cite as

Resistant exit

  • Jennet KirkpatrickEmail author


Several recent works in political theory argue that exit, rather than being a coward’s choice, is a potent mode of resistance that is particularly well suited to the current political era. These works reclaim exit, seeing it as a method of political opposition. While innovative and illuminating, these accounts are limited because they tend to treat all exits as resistance, regardless of context or content, and they are inclined to over-saturate exit with oppositional political meaning. I argue that resistant exit should be more narrowly defined. By examining a range of empirical cases, I identify and explore three distinctive characteristics of this particular type of opposition. In addition to clarifying a recently developed idea in current scholarship, this article provides a systematic way for scholars to understand and interpret the intersection between resistance and exit.


resistance exit exodus immigration political exiles 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Politics and Global StudiesArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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