Advertisement

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

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

Abstract

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.

Bibliography

  1. Arendt, Hannah. “Totalitarian Imperialism: Reflections on the Hungarian Revolution.” The Journal of Politics 20, no. 1 (1958): 5–43.Google Scholar
  2. ———. On Revolution. New York: The Viking Press, 1965.Google Scholar
  3. ———. Men in Dark Times. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1968.Google Scholar
  4. ———. Crises of the Republic. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972.Google Scholar
  5. ———. The Origins of Totalitarianism, 3rd edition. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973.Google Scholar
  6. ———. Essays in Understanding, 1930–1954: Formation, Exile, and Totalitarianism. Edited by Jerome Kohn. New York: Schocken Books, 1994.Google Scholar
  7. ———. The Human Condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  8. ———. The Promise of Politics. Edited by Jerome Kohn. New York: Schocken Books, 2005.Google Scholar
  9. ———. Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought. New York: Penguin Books, 2006.Google Scholar
  10. ———. The Jewish Writings. Edited by Jerome Kohn and Ron H. Feldman. New York: Schocken Books, 2007.Google Scholar
  11. ———. Thinking Without a Banister. Edited by Jerome Kohn. New York: Schocken Books, 2018.Google Scholar
  12. Arendt, Hannah, and Karl Jaspers. Correspondence: 1926–1969. Edited by Lotte Kohler and Hans Saner and translated by Robert and Rita Kimber. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1992.Google Scholar
  13. Avritzer, Leonardo. Participatory Institutions in Democratic Brazil. Washington, DC and Baltimore: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2009.Google Scholar
  14. Bauer, Otto. “Two Revolutions.” In Austro-Marxism, translated and edited by Tom Bottomore and Patrick Goode, 151–56. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  15. Benhabib, Seyla. The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1996.Google Scholar
  16. Bernstein, Richard J. Hannah Arendt and the Jewish Question. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  17. Canovan, Margret. “The Contradictions of Hannah Arendt’s Political Thought.” Political Theory 6, no. 1 (1978): 5–26.Google Scholar
  18. ———. Hannah Arendt: A Reinterpretation of Her Political Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  19. Correm, Tal. “Hannah Arendt on National Liberation, Violence, and Federalism.” In Arendt on Freedom, Liberation, and Revolution, edited by Kei Hiruta, 139–169. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.Google Scholar
  20. Dossa, Shiraz. “Hannah Arendt on Eichmann: The Public, the Private and Evil.” The Review of Politics 46, no. 2 (1984): 163–82.Google Scholar
  21. Gaffney, Jennifer. “Another Origin of Totalitarianism: Arendt on the Loneliness of Liberal Citizens.” Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 47, no. 1 (2016): 1–17.Google Scholar
  22. Habermas, Jürgen. “Hannah Arendt’s Communications Concept of Power.” In Hannah Arendt: Critical Essays, edited by Lewis P. Hinchman and Sandra K. Hinchman, 211–29. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994.Google Scholar
  23. Hilmer, Jeffrey D. “The State of Participatory Democracy Today.” Paper presented at the 66th annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 3–6, 2008.Google Scholar
  24. Hinchman, Sandra K. “Common Sense and Political Barbarism in the Theory of Hannah Arendt.” Polity 17, no. 2 (1984): 317–39.Google Scholar
  25. Isaac, Jeffery C. “Oases in the Desert: Hannah Arendt on Democratic Politics.” American Political Science Review 88, no. 1 (1994): 156–68.Google Scholar
  26. Jurkevics, Anna. “Hannah Arendt Reads Carl Schmitt’s the Nomos of the Earth: A Dialogue on Law and Geopolitics from the Margins.” European Journal of Political Theory 16, no. 3 (2017): 345–66.Google Scholar
  27. Kalyvas, Andreas. Democracy and the Politics of the Extraordinary: Max Weber, Carl Schmitt and Hannah Arendt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.Google Scholar
  28. Klusmeyer, Douglas. “Hannah Arendt’s Case for Federalism.” Publius: The Journal of Federalism 40, no. 1 (2009): 31–58.Google Scholar
  29. Lederman, Shmuel. “Philosophy, Politics, and Participatory Democracy in Hannah Arendt’s Political Thought.” History of Political Thought 37, no. 3 (2016a): 480–508.Google Scholar
  30. ———. “The Actor Does Not Judge: Hannah Arendt’s Theory of Judgment.” Philosophy and Social Criticism 42, no. 7 (2016b): 727–41.Google Scholar
  31. ———. “Hannah Arendt and Heinrich Blücher: Reflections on Philosophy, Politics and Democracy.” Arendt Studies 1 (2017): 87–100.Google Scholar
  32. ———. “Hannah Arendt, the Council Tradition and Contemporary Political Theory.” In Council Democracy: Towards a Democratic Socialist Politics, edited by James Muldoon, 150–67. London: Routledge, 2018.Google Scholar
  33. Marshall, David L. “The Polis and its Analogues in the Thought of Hannah Arendt.” Modern Intellectual History 7, no. 1 (2010): 123–49.Google Scholar
  34. McConkey, Mike. “On Arendt’s Vision of the European Council Phenomenon: Critique from a Historical Perspective.” Dialectical Anthropology 16 (1991): 15–31.Google Scholar
  35. Medearis, John. “Lost or Obscured? How V. I. Lenin, Joseph Schumpeter and Hannah Arendt Misunderstood the Council Movement.” Polity 36, no. 3 (2004): 447–76.Google Scholar
  36. Muldoon, James. “The Lost Treasure of Arendt’s Council System.” Critical Horizons 12, no. 3 (2011): 396–417.Google Scholar
  37. ———. “The Origins of Hannah Arendt’s Council System.” History of Political Thought 37, no. 4 (2016): 761–89.Google Scholar
  38. Reifowitz, Ian. “Otto Bauer and Karl Renner on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Jews.” Journal of Jewish Identities 2, no. 2 (2009), 1–19.Google Scholar
  39. Reinhardt, Mark. The Art of Being Free: Taking Liberties with Tocqueville, Marx, and Arendt. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997.Google Scholar
  40. Renner, Karl. “Democracy and the Council System.” In Austro-Marxism, translated and edited by Tom Bottomore and Patrick Goode, 187–201. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  41. Rubin, Gil. “From Federalism to Binationalism: Hannah Arendt’s Shifting Zionism.” Contemporary European History 24, no. 3 (2015): 393–414.Google Scholar
  42. Selinger, William. “The Politics of Arendtian Historiography: European Federation and The Origins of Totalitarianism.” Modern Intellectual History 13, no. 2 (2016): 417–46.Google Scholar
  43. Sitton, John F. “Hannah Arendt’s Argument for Council Democracy.” In Hannah Arendt: Critical Essays, edited by Lewis P. Hinchman and Sandra K. Hinchman, 307–29. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994.Google Scholar
  44. Topolski, Anya. Arendt, Levinas and a Politics of Relationality. London: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2015.Google Scholar
  45. Tsao, Roy T. “Arendt Against Athens: Rereading the Human Condition.” Political Theory 30, no. 1 (2002): 97–123.Google Scholar
  46. ———. “Arendt and the Modern State: Variations on Hegel in the Origins of Totalitarianism.” The Review of Politics 66, no. 1 (2004): 61–93.Google Scholar
  47. Young-Bruehl, Elisabeth. Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations