Dissent in Dark Times

Verity Smith

in Thinking in Dark Times

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230754
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235858 | DOI:
Dissent in Dark Times

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This chapter explores the place of civil disobedience in Hannah Arendt's work to generate an account of constitutionalism in which the rule of law and democracy are mutually constitutive rather than opposed principles. The first section argues that Arendt is a so-called “agonistic constitutionalist.” The second section delineates her debts to Montesquieu in this regard. The third section takes up civil disobedience as a constitutionally regenerative practice of reverent disobedience.

Keywords: Hannah Arendt; democracy; constitutionalism; agonistic constitutionalist; civil disobedience

Chapter.  3695 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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