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Arendt, Hannah

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Hannah Arendt describes the plight of refugees displaced by ethnic tensions after World War I in her examination of totalitarianism’s origins. Her discussion of refugees remains a timely problem of global justice today. By definition, refugees have fled from or been expelled by their own governments; so, homeless, they seek protection due to their human rights from whatever states are willing, however reluctantly, to admit them. Refugees’ plight is an international problem of justice, for their home states refuse, and their host states are willing or able to give them only limited justice and protection. This is a global problem as well for it arises repeatedly, painfully throughout the world. The first loss refugees suffer is to have no state to protect them. Their plea for upholding their human rights is only rhetorical. For rights to be realized, there must be a state that accepts the duty to listen to peoples’ pleas and to act upon them. Without a state accepting this duty,...

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References

  • Arendt H (1958) The human condition. University of Chicago Press, Chicago/London

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  • Arendt H (1968) The origins of totalitarianism, 3rd edn. Harcourt, New York

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  • Arendt H (1994) Essays in understanding 1930–1954, ed. Kohn J. Harcourt Brace, New York

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  • Bernstein RJ (1996) Hannah Arendt and the Jewish question. MIT Press, Cambridge

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  • Birmingham P (2006) Hannah Arendt and human rights: the predicament of common responsibility. Indiana University Press, Bloomington Indianapolis

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© 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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Clohesy, W.W. (2011). Arendt, Hannah. In: Chatterjee, D.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Global Justice. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_415

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