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Explaining Evilness

  • Steven SaxonbergEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter criticizes Arendt’s concept of the “banality of evil.” By going into detail on Eichmann, it shows that she greatly misinterpreted him. The chapter also criticizes the usual interpretations of the Milgram experiments, which are often seen as supporting Arendt’s thesis.

In criticizing the notion of the banality of evil, this chapter presents an alternative framework for analyzing why states get people to commit evil acts. This approach combines social-psychological theories with the book’s state-building paradigm.

Keywords

Banality of evil Existential threats Outgroup Milgram Legitimacy State-building Eichmann 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of European Studies and International RelationsComenius UniversityBratislavaSlovakia
  2. 2.Center for Social and Economic StrategiesCharles University in PraguePragueCzech Republic

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