Arendt, Republicanism, and Political Freedom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter assesses the neo-republican critique of Hannah Arendt advanced by Philip Pettit. Contending that republicanism is primarily concerned with freedom as non-domination, Pettit criticizes Arendt for equating political freedom with political participation and for advancing a Rousseauian communitarian and populist viewpoint antithetical to republicanism, properly understood. These criticisms are mistaken, however. A sympathetic reading of Arendt’s work reveals her deep-seated concern with domination, which is central to her analysis of totalitarianism and her critique of ‘command’ conceptions of politics. Moreover, Arendt is in no way vulnerable to the charge of advancing either communitarianism or populism, given her stress on the rule of law, her commitment to plurality and the dispersal of power, and her understanding of politics as the ceaseless interplay of diverse opinions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArendt on Freedom, Liberation, and Revolution
EditorsKei Hiruta
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-11695-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-11694-1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2019


  • Arendt freedom, republicanism, Pettit

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