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Hannah Arendt and the Law

Editor(s): Marco Goldoni, Chris McCorkindale
Media of Hannah Arendt and the Law
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Published: 20-04-2012
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 382
ISBN: 9781849461436
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Law and Practical Reason
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £80.00
Online price : £56.00
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Loren Epson

About Hannah Arendt and the Law

This book fills a major gap in the ever-increasing secondary literature on Hannah Arendt's political thought by providing a dedicated and coherent treatment of the many, various and interesting things which Arendt had to say about law. Often obscured by more pressing or more controversial aspects of her work, Arendt nonetheless had interesting insights into Greek and Roman concepts of law, human rights, constitutional design, legislation, sovereignty, international tribunals, judicial review and much more. This book retrieves these aspects of her legal philosophy for the attention of both Arendt scholars and lawyers alike. The book brings together lawyers as well as Arendt scholars drawn from a range of disciplines (philosophy, political science, international relations), who have engaged in an internal debate the dynamism of which is captured in print. Following the editors' introduction, the book is split into four Parts: Part I explores the concept of law in Arendt's thought; Part II explores legal aspects of Arendt's constitutional thought: first locating Arendt in the wider tradition of republican constitutionalism, before turning attention to the role of courts and the role of parliament in her constitutional design. In Part III Arendt's thought on international law is explored from a variety of perspectives, covering international institutions and international criminal law, as well as the theoretical foundations of international law. Part IV debates the foundations, content and meaning of Arendt's famous and influential claim that the 'right to have rights' is the one true human right.

Table Of Contents

Richard J Bernstein
Marco Goldoni and Chris McCorkindale
1. Law beyond Command? An Evaluation of Arendt's Understanding of Law
Keith Breen
2. Between Freedom and Law: Hannah Arendt on the Promise of Modern Revolution and the Burden of 'The Tradition'
Michael A Wilkinson
3. Law and the Space of Appearance in Arendt's Thought
Johan van der Walt
4. A Lawless Legacy: Hannah Arendt and Giorgio Agamben
Vivian Liska
5. Arendt's Constitutional Question
Emilios Christodoulidis and Andrew Schaap
6. The Role of the Supreme Court in Arendt's Political Constitution
Marco Goldoni and Chris McCorkindale
7. A Constitutional Niche for Civil Disobedience? Reflections on Arendt
William Smith
8. The Search for a New Beginning: Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers as Critics of West German Parliamentarism
Kari Palonen
A. Public International Law
9. Facing the Abyss: International Law Before the Political
Florian Hoffmann
10. International Law and Human Plurality in the Shadow of Totalitarianism: Hannah Arendt and Raphael Lemkin
Seyla Benhabib
11. Power and the Rule of Law in Arendt's Thought
Hauke Brunkhorst
12. Hannah Arendt and the Languages of Global Governance
Jan Klabbers
B. International Criminal Law
13. 'How Dangerous it Can Be to Be Innocent': War and the Law in the Thought of Hannah Arendt
Patricia Owens
14. Hannah Arendt's Judgement of Bureaucracy
Leora Bilsky
15. Arendt in Jerusalem, Demjanjuk in Munich
Lawrence Douglas
16. Between Politics and Law: Hannah Arendt and the Subject of Rights
Charles Barbour
17. Citizens and Persons: Legal Status and Human Rights in Hannah Arendt
James Bohman
18. The Right to Have Rights: From Human Rights to Citizens' Rights and Back
Samantha Besson


“...the more striking and radical achievement of Hannah Arendt and the Law is its success as a representational text that gathers together Arendt's insights about law for close reading and which, in carrying out this task, reverses her question about the role of law in politics.

...the more remarkable and unintended effect of the essays is to welcome Arendt into the fold of legal studies and not the reverse accomplishment that would have been to admit disciplinary differences while accepting that she sometimes relates to law by commenting on it. That is, these texts innovate not simply by extending the secondary literature about Arendt but by using Arendt in order to reorientate and extend legal theory, particularly where such theory looks to understand the political consequences of law.

” –  Deborah Whitehall, Modern Law Review Volume 76, Number 4

“The question of a stable, permanent and free order became the very question at the heart of Arendt' s political thinking and it is (...) thanks to Marco Goldoni's and Christopher McCorkindale's volume that this perspective is brought back into the academic debate.” –  Christian Volk, International Journal of Constitutional Law Volume 11, Number 1

“[This book] comprises many worthwhile contributions and benefits from the diverse academic backgrounds of the authors. One special treat are the comparisons and correlations drawn between Arendt and other scholars, both contemporaries and successors. In summary, the volume not only provides for an entertaining reading but also enables us to learn much more than Arendt's legal thought.” –  Dana Schmalz, Verfassung und Recht in Übersee Volume 1

“ important addition both to the growing literature on Arendt and to socio-legal scholarship more generally.” –  Alison Christou, Griffith Law Review, Volume 22, Number 1

“This volume as one of the first to bring together many of her ideas on law in one volume is a timely contribution to Arendtian scholarship and provides material for those interested mainly in Arendt as well as for those mainly interested in law and legal theory… It could be particularly useful to introduce students to the work of Hannah Arendt.” –  Karin van Marle, Feminist Legal Studies

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