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41. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Katy Fulfer, Rita A. Gardiner Refugee Resettlement, Rootlessness, and Assimilation
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We explore how a refugee’s experience of rootlessness may persist after they resettle in a new country. Drawing primarily on “We Refugees,” we focus on assimilation as an uprooting phenomenon that compels a person to forget their roots, thereby perpetuating threats to identity and the loss of community that is a condition for political agency. Arendt presents assimilation in a binary way: a person either conforms to or resists pressures to conform. We seek to move beyond this binary, arguing that the performative quality of the “right to have rights” (Butler and Spivak, Who Sings the Nation-State?; Gündoğdu, Rightlessness in an Age of Rights; Sari, “An Arendtian Recognitive Politics”) and the notion of dwelling in-between worlds (Ortega, In-Between: Latina Feminist Phenomenology, Multiplicity, and the Self) reveal possibilities for a refugee to assimilate in some ways while reinforcing their rootedness. What emerges from our argument is an Arendtian account of assimilation that offers an alternative picture of navigating assimilation than that captured by the binary between parvenu/conscious pariah.
42. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Edgar Straehle Rethinking the Relationship Between Past, Present, and Future: Arendt’s Account on Revolution
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In this paper, I focus on Arendt’s concept of revolution in order to tackle the intricate relationship among past, present and future in the fields of action and politics. For this purpose, I propose to rethink the concept of authority and to show its possible connection with action and revolution. On the basis of her reflections on the American Revolution, I claim that authority and Arendt’s concept of power are not incompatible and can appear together. On the other hand, I hold that if power seeks to found, establish and consolidate a new republic, it requires to be endorsed by authority. Authority can provide a horizon of longevity that is not present within power and can enable the task of foundation to succeed.
43. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Stefania Fantauzzi Taking Responsibility for the World: Politics, the Impolitical and Violence in Hannah Arendt
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The purpose of this article is to analyse the issues of war and violence in the thought of Hannah Arendt, drawing on articles published in the newspaper Aufbau between 1941 and 1945. In these texts Arendt argues for the organisation of a Jewish army to engage in the struggle against Nazism. Here I attempt to show that this call for a Jewish army is not in contradiction with the separation between power and violence that Arendt posited. With this objective, I will compare Aufbau’s writings not only with On Violence, but above all with Was ist Politik? and I will try to interpret this comparison by means of the concept of impolitical, elaborated by the Italian philosopher Roberto Esposito. This way I will suggest a new reading of the relationship between politics and violence. It is not a matter of considering the Jewish question only as a starting point to analyze Arendt’s thought, or to interpret her claim in favor of a Jewish army as the result of a specific historical context, but also to see how these positions spring from a will of transformation of this same context and are coherent with the development of her thought.
44. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Jonathan Graubart Reimagining Zionism and Coexistence after Oslo’s Death: Lessons from Hannah Arendt
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Zionism needs a fundamental overhaul given both the collapse of the Oslo-initiated peace process and the erosion of liberal values in Israeli society. There is no better guide than Hannah Arendt for such an undertaking. On the one hand, she provided a searing diagnosis of mainstream Zionism’s foundational shortcomings, which persist to the present. One is a creed that assumes an eternal anti-Semitism. Two is a corresponding insular nationalism, which rejects affirmative engagement with the outside. On the other hand, Arendt articulated an affirmative humanist Zionism based on three elements. First, is a Jewish self-determination aimed at cultural enrichment and emancipation. Second, is an outward-oriented Zionism that embraces internationalism. Third, is substantive coexistence with Palestinians based on an innovative alternative to the homogenous nation-state model. This article retrieves and updates Arendt’s humanist Zionism. I emphasize her plea to confront Zionism’s pathologies, break from an insular nationalist mindset, and foster new political channels for attaining genuine reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.
45. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Bulent Diken, Carsten Bagge Laustsen Arendt’s Political Theology—From Political Religion to Profanation
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The article elaborates on Arendt’s take on the religious and the political and on how they interact and merge in modernity, especially in totalitarianism. We start with framing the three different understandings of religion in Arendt: first, a classic understanding of religion, which is foreign to the logic of the political; second, a secularized political religion; and third, a weak messianism. Both the classic understanding of religion and the political religion deny human freedom in Arendt’s sense. Her transcendent alternative to them both is the notion of the democratic political community: the Republic. Then we turn to Arendt’s political theology, illuminating why interrogating Nazism is central to examine the relationship between politics and religion in modernity. This is followed by a discussion of Nazism as a type of political religion. We focus here on totalitarianism, both as an idea and actual institution. We conclude with an assessment of the role of profanation in Arendt’s work and its significance vis-à-vis the contemporary ‘return of religion’ as well as totalitarian tendencies which call for new forms of voluntary servitude.
46. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Adi Armon The “Origins of The Origins”: Antisemitism, Hannah Arendt, and the Influence of Bernard Lazare
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Unlike “Imperialism” and “Totalitarianism,” the last two chapters in Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), written in the United States in the 1940s, the completion of the first chapter, “Antisemitism”, was preceded by more than two decades of writing in Europe and in the United States, during which Arendt found it increasingly necessary to address issues related to the Jews’ political and social situation. The chapter may be only one part of the book, but it is in fact the “origin of The Origins” and its cornerstone. In order to trace several themes of this seminal chapter, we must analyze the contribution of the French Jewish thinker, Bernard Lazare, to Arendt’s thinking. Without him, “Antisemitism” would never have coalesced and seen the light of day as a political analysis of the phenomenon. Without the “Antisemitism” chapter, The Origins of Totalitarianism would not have become a canonical work of twentieth-century political thought.
47. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Beltrán Undurraga Historicizing Distinctions: Hannah Arendt on Science and Technology
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This article expands Patchen Markell’s (2011) seminal problematization of The Human Condition by examining the impact that the modern developments in science and technology had on Arendt’s signature categories. Whereas Markell is interested in the systematic “architecture” of the book, I attempt to historicize Arendt’s distinctions in light of the story she tells about science and technology. From the invention of the telescope to the splitting of the atom, technoscience has provoked shifts in the hierarchies within the vita activa; spawned new varieties of “labor,” “work,” and “action”; and blurred the traditional boundaries between “nature” and the “human world.” These reconfigurations draw the contours of a new, “modern world” that is different from the world whose story and conceptual tradition Arendt set out to articulate. Largely as a result of the activities of science and technology, the experiences that informed the categories of the “Western tradition” correspond to a world that is no longer our own.
48. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Hugo Strandberg Forgiveness and Plurality
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Hannah Arendt is one of the few philosophers who has given an important role to the concept of forgiveness within the context of his or her broader philosophical thinking. This paper aims at giving an account of Arendt’s understanding of forgiveness, critically discussing it, and showing that the concept of forgiveness can be put to greater use than Arendt realizes, by relating it to the important Arendtian concept of plurality.
49. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Katie B. Howard Public Things: Democracy in Disrepair. By Bonnie Honig
50. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Maša Mrovlje Phenomenology of Plurality: Hannah Arendt on Political Intersubjectivity. By Sophie Loidolt
51. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
James Sias Rethinking the Thin-Thick Distinction among Theories of Evil (and Then Rereading Arendt)
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According to a standard interpretation of Hannah Arendt’s remarks about evil, she had a psychologically thin conception of evil action. This paper has two aims. First, I argue that the distinction between psychological thinness and thickness is poorly conceived, at least as it commonly applies to theories of evil action. And second, I argue that, according to a better conception of the thin-thick distinction, Arendt is being misinterpreted.
52. Arendt Studies: Volume > 4
Hannes Bajohr The Rigorism of Truth: “Moses the Egyptian” and Other Writings on Freud and Arendt. By Hans Blumenberg. Ed. Ahlrich Meyer, trans. Joe Paul Kroll
53. Arendt Studies: Volume > 4
Shlomit Harrosh Hannah Arendt’s Ethics. By Deirdre Lauren Mahony. London
54. Arendt Studies: Volume > 4
Christos Hadjiyiannis Placeless People: Writing, Rights, and Refugees. By Lyndsey Stonebridge. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. 272 pp. $34 cloth, ISBN 9780198797005
55. Arendt Studies: Volume > 4
James Barry Editor's Introduction
56. Arendt Studies: Volume > 4
James Barry Introduction
57. Arendt Studies: Volume > 4
Richard H. King Margaret Canovan and Hannah Arendt
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Professor Margaret Canovan wrote two studies of the work of German-Jewish émigré political theorist, Hannah Arendt (1906-75). The first, The Political Thought of Hannah Arendt, appeared in 1974, while Hannah Arendt: A Reinterpretation of Her Political Thought was published in 1992. Both were intended for the Anglophone world, especially the US and Great Britain, although Arendt’s reception was more favorable in America where she settled in 1941 than in the UK. An historian of political thought at Keele University, UK, Canovan was ideal to bring Arendt to a general academic audience not to aim at a highly specialized readership deeply grounded in German thought. Though Canovan emphasized the conservative dimensions of Arendt’s thought, her conclusion was, finally, that Arendt’s political thought was a form of modern “republicanism” not an argument for inherited political traditions or a plea for New Left radicalism. It was a plea for pluralism, as it were.
58. Arendt Studies: Volume > 4
Verónica Zebadúa-Yáñez ‘But I am a rebel after all!’ The Politics of Marginality in Hannah Arendt’s Life of Rahel
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In this essay, I offer an interpretation of Arendt’s biography of the Jewish-German salonnière, Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewess (1957). Treating the book as a work of political theory, I develop two arguments: First, I contend that Arendt’s study lays the grounds for a political epistemology of marginality and exclusion, making her a standpoint theorist avant la lettre. Second, I argue that Arendt’s book gives us an account of the process of ‘becoming political.’ This helps complement, and to a degree counter, her insistence in more widely read books that political freedom is an exclusively plural experience in the public realm. This insistence sidelines the role played by individual political consciousness in the decision to engage in action, as well as the necessary interaction between the private and the public spheres in becoming a political subject. Arendt’s biography suggests that becoming political can be facilitated by a solidary, and private encounter with the excluded other.
59. Arendt Studies: Volume > 4
Alex Cain Arendt’s Contradictions: Eichmann in Jerusalem in the Perspective of Arendt’s Practice of Socratic Dialogue
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Commentators often note that there are contradictions, or at least inconsistencies, in Arendt’s work. On the one hand, Arendt is accused of theoretical inconsistencies, insofar as she makes claims in her later work that seem incompatible with claims she made earlier. On the other hand, Arendt has been accused of contradicting herself morally, with some commentators claiming that Arendt should not have written Eichmann in Jerusalem the way she wrote it. Both views place the treatment of the 1961 Eichmann trial at the center of Arendt’s thought, and cast it as representing a radical shift from Arendt’s earlier work. This article shows that both views fail to acknowledge the importance of what I call the “archetype of non-contradiction” in Arendt’s work. I argue that, viewed in perspective, her treatment of the Eichmann trial is simply another instance of Arendt attempting to follow the archetype of non-contradiction, practicing tentative and fluid thinking, and maintaining her friendship with herself.
60. Arendt Studies: Volume > 4
Katherine Davies The Architecture of Appearance: Arendt’s Feminism and Guatemala’s Private City
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Ciudad Cayalá in Guatemala brands itself as the country’s first private city. I turn to Hannah Arendt to show how and why Cayalá does not and cannot provide the space of appearance she argues is needed to support the possibility of political action. I show how Arendt provides two apparently distinct phenomenological accounts in The Human Condition—one historically-oriented and the other politically-oriented—that articulate how Cayalá fails in its aspiration to privatize the political. Yet the apparent divergence between her accounts raises concern about her relevance for liberatory feminist projects. To demonstrate how and why Arendt’s political phenomenology is aligned with certain feminist aims, I also generate a Cayaláian reading of Arendt to demonstrate the coherence of her two phenomenological accounts through interpreting her thinking by way of Cayalá’s architecture. This article enacts a dialogue between Arendt and Cayalá, mediated by feminist and architectural theory, concerning why efforts toward the privatization of cities will fail.