Arendt, Natality, and the Refugee Crisis

Part of the Women in the History of Philosophy and Sciences book series (WHPS, volume 3)


Arendt had little interest in the question of women in the philosophical canon. But her concept of natality and its links to reflections on difference, contestation, and multiplicity have struck a chord with many contemporary (and feminist) philosophers. Through her historical and theoretical examinations of the conditions for human life, political life, and ethical life—and for their transgressions—she has become a powerful intellectual figure. Her concept of natality, which focuses on the role of plurality, newness, and spontaneity for political life, offers distinctions and priorities that provide a necessary orientation for reflecting on the contemporary refugee crisis. In an Arendtian spirit, we must defend a conception of an open political sphere that is constantly renewed by newcomers, and that is not reducible to social or cultural identities, in order to protect refugees as obligated by both international conventions and moral relations.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Danish Institute for International StudiesCopenhagenDenmark

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