By Patricia Owens
Among warfare and Politics is the 1st publication size research of battle within the considered one of many twentieth-century's most crucial and unique political thinkers. Hannah Arendt's writing was once essentially rooted in her realizing of struggle and its political importance. yet this portion of her paintings has unusually been missed in overseas and political conception. This booklet fills a major hole by means of assessing the complete variety of Arendt's historic and conceptual writing on struggle and introduces to overseas conception the unique language she used to speak about battle and the political international. It builds on her re-thinking of outdated suggestions equivalent to strength, violence, greatness, international, imperialism, evil, hypocrisy and humanity and introduces a few which are new to foreign concept like plurality, motion, agonism, natality and political immortality. the problems that Arendt handled all through her lifestyles and paintings proceed to form the political international and her method of political pondering is still a resource of idea for these looking for assistance no longer in what to imagine yet easy methods to take into consideration politics and warfare. Re-reading Arendt's writing, solid via firsthand adventure of profession and struggles for liberation, political founding and resistance in time of conflict, unearths a extra severe engagement with battle than her past readers have well-known. Arendt's political conception makes extra feel whilst it really is understood within the context of her pondering struggle and we will be able to take into consideration the heritage and idea of struggle, and foreign politics, in new methods by way of considering with Arendt.This ebook is a undertaking of the Oxford Leverhulme Programme at the altering personality of conflict.
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Additional info for Between War and Politics: International Relations and the Thought of Hannah Arendt
These thinkers simply reject her belief that she can observe and theorize this element of the human condition. It would be easy to respond that if everything is war then nothing is. But Arendt’s fundamental diﬀerence with post-structuralism runs much deeper. This is not an epistemological question Violence and Power, Politics and War 31 about foundations of knowledge, the existence of some rational truth as a way to adjudicate conﬂict (Villa 1992a). Nor is her position dependent on some objective sense of what ‘peace’ looks like or the liberal idea that war is the exception, an emergency and not a regular feature of modern politics.
What digniﬁed ‘who’ could be revealed in the First World War? Remaining with poets, we might think of Sassoon or Owen, or with the commanders, Foch, Haig, or Ludendorﬀ. For Arendt, the monuments to the unknown announce the most ‘brutal fact’ of all. The agent of the First World War, the unique ‘who’ that was revealed, ‘was actually nobody’. This is the Arendt most commentators know. In her ontology of political action ‘who’ an actor is must be distinguished from ‘what’ they are. Who somebody is, their unique identity, is constantly created and recreated and revealed in their actions and speech (HC, 179, 180).
As Arendt wrote, ‘what needs justiﬁcation by something else cannot be the essence of anything’. Again, the point is to distinguish power from violence. Violence and Power, Politics and War 25 Power ‘needs no justiﬁcation, being inherent in the very existence of political communities’; it is ‘the very condition enabling a group of people to think and act in terms of the means–end category’ (CR, 150, 151). As a political category, power is an absolute. Arendt compared it with peace. The end of war, she suggested, must be either ‘peace or victory; but to the question And what is the end of peace?