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Palgrave Macmillan

Arendt on Freedom, Liberation, and Revolution

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  • © 2019


  • Offers a comprehensive attempt to consider Arendt’s theory of freedom and its political, legal and institutional ramifications in a single volume
  • Examines both contested interpretive questions in Arendt scholarship and her legacy to some of the major debates of our time
  • Considers Arendt’s work in light of later developments in political philosophy such as the recent literature on International Political Theory and the debate over neo-republican political thought pioneered by Philip Pettit

Part of the book series: Philosophers in Depth (PID)

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About this book

This edited volume focuses on what Hannah Arendt famously called “the raison d’être of politics”: freedom. The unique collection of essays clarifies her flagship idea of political freedom in relation to other key Arendtian themes such as liberation, revolution, civil disobedience, and the right to have rights.

In addressing these, contributors to this volume juxtapose Arendt with a number of thinkers from Isaiah Berlin, John Rawls and Philip Pettit to Karl Marx, Frantz Fanon and Geoffroy de Lagasnerie. They also consider the continuing relevance of Arendt’s work to some of the most dramatic events in recent years, including the current global refugee crisis, the Arab uprisings of the 2010s, and the ongoing crisis of liberal democracy in the West and beyond.

Contributors include Keith Breen, Joan Cocks, Tal Correm, Christian J. Emden, Patrick Hayden, Kei Hiruta, Anthony F. Lang Jr., Shmuel Lederman, Miriam Leonard, Natasha Saunders, William Smith, and Shiyu Zhang.

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Table of contents (11 chapters)


“From different angles, the different contributions convincingly evince why it is crucial to distinguish liberation from the practice of freedom without losing sight of how intimately intertwined the two are. The editor has successfully been able to create a unity out of the individual contributions … . this is a highly readable anthology for anyone interested in the political thought of Arendt as well as in contemporary political theory more generally.” (Tomas Wedin,, Vol. 10 (1), December, 2020)

“Kei Hiruta’s new collection represents a decided shift in ways of construing Hannah Arendt’s work. It shifts the focus from the concept of action in her texts to the experience of freedom and revolution in history. The Arab Spring and the on-going refugee crises are as likely to be taken up as the Greek polis or the Roman Republic. Overall, the essays are lively rather than ponderous. Most of all, they allow the vitality of Arendt’s thought to emerge into full evidence.” (Richard H. King, Professor Emeritus of American Intellectual History, University of Nottingham, UK, and author of Arendt and America)

“This volume offers refreshing readings of Hannah Arendt as a theorist of freedom. The contributors expand our interpretive horizon by examining a wide array of Arendt’s works and putting her into conversation with a diverse range of interlocutors such as Isaiah Berlin, Frantz Fanon, Karl Marx, Philip Pettit, and John Rawls. Taking as their “guideposts” what Arendt calls “incidents of living experience,” they offer illuminating reassessments of her arguments in light of challenging contemporary problems.” (Ayten Gündoğdu, Associate Professor of Political Science, Barnard College, USA, and author of Rightlessness in an Age of Rights: Hannah Arendt and the Contemporary Struggles of Migrants)

“What Hannah Arendt wanted was for people to think for themselves, while paying close attention to the crises of their own times. In this volume, the authors have done just that – engaging contemporary political philosophy in conversation with Arendt and with unexpected and unprecedented events unfolding around the world and across the earth in our time. The result is a multi-faceted examination of the political challenges and failures with which we are surrounded. Are there aspects of Arendt’s thought that can assist us to make sense of what is and is not happening today? The verdict from this fine collection of essays is a carefully considered and critically qualified yes. This book is a welcome contribution to contemporary political philosophy.” (Lucy Tatman, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Gender Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia)


Editors and Affiliations

  • Oxford University, Oxford, UK

    Kei Hiruta

About the editor

Kei Hiruta is Research Fellow in Philosophy at Wolfson College, Oxford, UK, and Eurias Junior Fellow at the Paris Institute for Advanced Study, France, 2018–19. He is a co-founder and Associate Editor of the journal Arendt Studies.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Arendt on Freedom, Liberation, and Revolution

  • Editors: Kei Hiruta

  • Series Title: Philosophers in Depth

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Religion and Philosophy, Philosophy and Religion (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-11694-1Published: 18 March 2019

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-11695-8Published: 06 March 2019

  • Series ISSN: 2947-552X

  • Series E-ISSN: 2947-5538

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XI, 302

  • Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Political Philosophy, Social Philosophy, Philosophy of Law

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