Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Mortimer Sellers, Stephan Kirste

Arendt, Hannah

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6730-0_410-1


Hannah Arendt (Germany 1906 – United States 1975) is one of the most important political thinkers of the twentieth century and is mostly known for her writings on political action, evil, and totalitarianism. She studied philosophy in Marburg and Heidelberg, Germany, with such renowned German philosophers as Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers (Young-Bruehl 1982, 44, 48). Arendt’s political awakening took place when the Nazis ascended to power in Germany, and she joined the resistance movement. In 1937, she fled the Nazi regime first to France and then to the United States, where she lived the rest of her life and produced the majority of her intellectual work (Arendt 2000, 6–7; Young-Bruehl 1982, 92, 113).

Arendt never systematically developed a theory of law. However, nearly all her works deal with some aspect of law, and in recent years scholars across academic disciplines have brought to light the insights and importance of Arendt’s legal thought (for instance Goldoni and...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Arendt H (1972) Crises of the republic. Harcourt, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Arendt H (1976) The origins of totalitarianism. New edition with added prefaces. A Harvest Book, Harcourt, OrlandoGoogle Scholar
  3. Arendt H (1990) On revolution. Penguin, London/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Arendt H (1993) Between past and future. Eight exercises in political thought. Penguin, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Arendt H (1994) Eichmann in Jerusalem: a report on the banality of evil. Revised and enlarged edition. Penguin, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Arendt H (1998) The human condition, 2nd edn. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Arendt H (2000) “What remains? The language remains...” a conversation with Günter Gaus. In: Baehr P (ed) The portable Hannah Arendt. Penguin, New York, pp 3–22Google Scholar
  8. Arendt H (2003) Responsibility and judgment (ed: Kohn J). Schocken, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Arendt H (2005) The promise of politics (ed: Kohn J). Schocken, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Balibar É (2007) (De)constructing the human as human institution: a reflection on the coherence of Hannah Arendt’s practical philosophy. Soc Res 74(3):727–738Google Scholar
  11. Barbour C (2012) Between politics and law: Hannah Arendt and the subject of rights. In: Goldoni M, McCorkindale C (eds) Hannah Arendt and the law. Hart Publishing, Oxford, pp 307–319Google Scholar
  12. Beltrán C (2009) Going public: Hannah Arendt, immigrant action, and the space of appearance. Political Theory 37(5):595–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Birmingham P (2003) Holes of oblivion: The banality of radical evil. Hypatia 18(1):80–103Google Scholar
  14. Birmingham P (2006) Hannah Arendt and human rights. The predicament of common responsibility. Indiana University Press, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  15. Canovan M (1992) Hannah Arendt: a reinterpretation of her political thought. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goldoni M, McCorkindale C (eds) (2012) Hannah Arendt and the law. Hart Publishing, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  17. Gündoğdu A (2015) Rightlessness in an age of rights. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Herzog A (2002) Reporting and storytelling: Eichmann in Jerusalem as political testimony. Thesis Eleven 69:83–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Honig B (1991) Declarations of independence: Arendt and Derrida on the problem of founding a republic. Am Polit Sci Rev 85(1):97–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Locke J (1967) Two treatises of government. In: Laslett P (ed). Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  21. Lukkari H (2020) Hannah Arendt and the glimmering paradox of constituent power. In: Arvidsson M, Brännström L, Minkkinen P (eds) Constituent power. Law, popular rule, and politics. Edinburgh University Press, EdinburghGoogle Scholar
  22. McMullin I (2011) The amnesia of the modern: Arendt on the role of memory in the constitution of the political. Philos Top 39(2):91–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Michelman FI (1996) Parsing “a right to have rights”. Constellations 3(2):200–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rae G (2019) Hannah Arendt, evil, and political resistance. Hist Hum Sci 32(2):125–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rancière J (2004) Who is the subject of the rights of man? South Atlantic Q 103(2/3):297–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Volk C (2015) Arendtian constitutionalism. Bloomsbury Publishing, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  27. Young-Bruehl E (1982) Hannah Arendt: for love of the world. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of Social Sciences and PhilosophyUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Gianfrancesco Zanetti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LawUniversità degli Studi di Modena e Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly