Hannah Arendt's existential, republican concept of politics spurned Carl Schmitt's idea that enmity constituted the essence of the political. Famously, she isolated the political sphere from social conflict, sovereign regimes, and the realm of military violence. While some critics are now interested in applying Arendt's more abstract political ideas to international affairs, it has not been acknowledged that her original reconceptualization of politics was in fact driven by her analysis of global war, and in particular, the startling new challenges raised (...) by nuclear warfare. Arendt's early, unpublished manuscript on the nature of politics contains important reflections on the nature of war and empire. Surprisingly, these reflections tentatively explore the relationship between war and political freedom. A close reading of this work on war can help explain both her later, more radical non-violent concept of political action, and the difficulties she faced integrating her existential republicanism within the global context of conflict in the Cold War. (shrink)
Returning to the origin stories that informed the beginnings of political community, Bates reclaims the idea of law, warfare, and the social order as intertwining elements subject to complex historical development.