Between War and Politics: International Relations and the Thought of Hannah Arendt

Paperback | September 6, 2009

byPatricia Owens

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This is the first book length study of war in the thought of one of the twentieth-century's most important and original political thinkers. Hannah Arendt's writing was fundamentally rooted in her understanding of war and its political significance. But this element of her work has surprisinglybeen neglected in international and political theory. This book fills an important gap by assessing the full range of Arendt's historical and conceptual writing on war and introduces to international theory the distinct language she used to talk about war and the political world. It builds on herre-thinking of old concepts such as power, violence, greatness, world, imperialism, evil, hypocrisy and humanity and introduces some that are new to international thought like plurality, action, agonism, natality and political immortality. The issues that Arendt dealt with throughout her life andwork continue to shape the political world and her approach to political thinking remains a source of inspiration for those in search of guidance not in what to think but how to think about politics and war. Re-reading Arendt's writing, forged through firsthand experience of occupation and strugglesfor liberation, political founding and resistance in time of war, reveals a more serious engagement with war than her earlier readers have recognised. Arendt's political theory makes more sense when it is understood in the context of her thinking about war and we can think about the history andtheory of warfare, and international politics, in new ways by thinking with Arendt.

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This is the first book length study of war in the thought of one of the twentieth-century's most important and original political thinkers. Hannah Arendt's writing was fundamentally rooted in her understanding of war and its political significance. But this element of her work has surprisinglybeen neglected in international and politic...

Dr. Patricia Owens is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics at Queen Mary, University of London. Before taking up that post in 2007 she was Departmental Lecturer in Strategic Studies in the Department of Politics and International Relations and Seton-Watson Research Fellow in International Relations at Oriel College, Universit...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.07 inPublished:September 6, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199566046

ISBN - 13:9780199566044

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Violence and Power, Politics and War3. Who Is Revealed in War? History, War and Storytelling4. The Boomerang Effect: On the Imperial Origins of Total War5. 'How Dangerous it Can Be to be Innocent': War and the Law6. Rage against Hypocrisy: On Liberal Wars for Human Rights7. Beyond Strauss, Lies and the War in Iraq: A Critique of Neoconservativism8. The Humanitarian Condition? On War and Making a Global PublicConclusionIndex

Editorial Reviews

"A well-written, cogently argued and entirely persuasive account of Arendt's sustained but largely ignored engagement with war and violence, and how it provides a key to many of her most important political and philosophical ideas." --Richard Ned Lebow, James O. Freedman Presidential Professor of Government, Dartmouth College