Edoardo Greblo

Hannah Arendt and the renewed ambivalence of the nation-state

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Totalitarianism, Nation-state, People, Human rights, Populism.

According to Hannah Arendt, the original matrix of totalitarianism is to be be identified in the contradictory logic feeding the nation-state. It is the relationship of tension between the universalistic value of the rule of law and democracy on the one hand, and a particularistic substance, based on the material character of a sense of belonging inspired by organic conceptions of the social bond, on the other. The thesis of the present article is that Hannah Arendt’s reflections should not be limited to a tragic, but unrepeatable past. Contemporary sovereign and nationalist populism also tends to deny pluralism and political and identity differentiation. In the populist imagination, there is only room for a "community of people" where relations between citizens are the expression of a prepolitical unity based on a sense of belonging inspired by organic conceptions of the social bond and which, in principle, therefore excludes every dissonant voice.

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