Defending a Common World: Hannah Arendt on the State, the Nation and Political Education

Studies in Philosophy and Education 37 (6):537-552 (2018)

Abstract
For a long time, one of the most important tasks for education in liberal democracies has been to foster the next generation in core democratic values in order to prepare them for future political responsibilities. In spite of this, general trust in the liberal democratic system is in rapid decline. In this paper, the tension between the ambitions of liberal-democratic educational systems and contemporary challenges to central democratic ideas is approached by reconsidering Hannah Arendt’s critique of political education. This will be done informed by her analysis of the tension between the concepts of state and nation. By showing how education, depending on its role as a tool of the state or the nation, may be a fundamental requirement for the establishment of a common world or the most effective tool for its destruction, the paper argues for the need to understand Arendt’s educational thinking in light of her wider political analysis. Rather than downplaying the provocative aspects of her critique, the paper argues for the need to use it as a starting point for thinking again how education may become an emancipatory undertaking capable of disarming contemporary threats to human plurality and freedom.
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DOI 10.1007/s11217-018-9618-3
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Education in a Post-Truth World.Michael A. Peters - 2017 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 49 (6).
On Revolution.E. J. Hobsbawm & Hanna Arendt - 1965 - History and Theory 4 (2):252.
Creating Citizens in the Classroom.Anya Topolski - 2008 - Ethical Perspectives 15 (2):259-282.

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