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Document Details :
Title: Reluctant Democratic Egalitarianism
Subtitle: Hannah Arendt's Idea of a Revolutionary Foundation of the Modern Nation State and International Law
Author(s): BRUNKHORST, Hauke
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 15 Issue: 2 Date: 2008
This article claims that Arendt’s political theory is about power. By combining several different dimensions of power, I develop a simple cross-table by which I compare Arendt with the notions of power of other philosophers, such Weber, Marx, Habermas, and Foucault. In contrast to these thinkers, Arendt presents us with different notions of power. After briefly discussing each of her notions, I focus on her understanding of constitutionalism. Arendt is embedded in the Hegelian and German Staatsrecht-tradition of constitutionalism. However, her thought also entails the idea of a revolutionary constitution. And although she shrank back from the radical democratic consequences of this idea, she did develop the categories of power that we need to draw the critical distinction between the branches of power constituting the communicative power of the people and the branches of repressive power.