The Centrality of the Council System in Arendt’s Political Theory

  • Shmuel Lederman
Part of the Philosophers in Depth book series (PID)


In this chapter, I seek to show that the vision of radical, participatory democracy plays a much more important role in Arendt’s political thought than commentators usually allow. I begin by discussing the way federalist arrangements Arendt advocated in different contexts were meant to be complemented by a citizen council system, and reinterpret her call for new political structures that would guarantee human dignity in this light. I then turn to demonstrate the close links between Arendt’s conception of “the political” and her support for the council system. Finally, I suggest that Arendt’s discussions on the relations between philosophy, politics and judgment reflect her urgent sense of the need for participatory democracy. Arendt, I conclude, provides powerful normative foundations for the theory of participatory democracy.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shmuel Lederman
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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