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Between War and PoliticsInternational Relations and the Thought of Hannah Arendt$
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Patricia Owens

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199299362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199299362.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Between War and Politics

Patricia Owens (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Arendt is often considered to be one of the leading writers on political non-violence. She was the theorist of political speech as action and claimed on numerous occasions that violence was mute and brought the death of politics. However, her writings on war and violence are more subtle and important than have been originally thought. The vast secondary literature on Arendt is sophisticated and broad but it has underestimated this engagement with war by equating war with brute violence and focussing on those passages in which she does indeed exclude violence from being properly political. Pulling together the threads of violence and war in Arendt's writing suggests that her treatment of the subjects is as illuminating as the classical sociology tradition and more compelling than some of the more recent work in the political theory of war.

Keywords:   Arendt, war, violence, non-violence, political theory, International Relations, realism

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