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Hannah Arendt: Politics, History and Citizenship

Hannah Arendt: Politics, History and Citizenship

Phillip Hansen

ISBN: 978-0-745-60488-6

Aug 1993, Polity

269 pages

In Stock



The new study provides a fresh and timely reassessment of the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt. While analysing the central themes of Arendt's work, Phillip Hansen also shows that her work makes a significant contribution to contemporary debates. Specifically, Hansen argues that Arendt provides a powerful account of what it means to think and act politically. This account can establish the grounds for a contemporary citizen rationality in the face of threat to a genuine politics.

Amoung other issues, Hansen discusses Arendt's conception of history and historical action; her account of politics and of the distinction between public and private; her analysis of totalitarianism as the most ominous form of 'false ' politics; and her treatment of revolution.

The book is a balanced and opportune reappraisal of Arendt's contributions to social and political theory. It will be welcomed by students and scholars in politics, sociology and philosophy.


1. History and the Decline of Politics.

2. Freedom, Action and the Public Realm:.

Hannah Arendt's Polis and the Foundations of a Genuine Politics.

3. The Public Realm under Siege:.

False Politics and the Modern Age.


5. Revolution.

6. What is Thinking Politically? .

Conclusion: Whither Political Theory?.



'The twentieth century opened and closed with two towering figures in German political thought: Max Weber and Jurgen Habermas. Hannah Arendt, hersef a towering figure, stands between them. Phillip Hansen's fresh and searching intrduction to her political thought explains why.' John Keane, University of Westminster

'Hansen situates himself in the field of tension between Arendt and the Left and generates an exceedingly interesting discussion of the prospects and pit falls facing everyone aiming at a rejuvenated emancipatory politics at a time when it is anything but clear what sucha study of politics could possibly consist of ... a judicious and suggestive study'. Paul Breines, Boston College