The Grey Zones of Violence in Political Resistance

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  • 1 New York University, USA tal.correm@nyu.edu
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Abstract

This article addresses the ambivalent role of violence in liberation struggles by staging a mutually enriching dialogue between Hannah Arendt and Frantz Fanon. It challenges the binary distinction between justifiable resistance that allows for only short-term, instrumental use of violence, and unwarranted resistance where violence is intrinsically justified as a creative, organic life-force of the oppressed. Instead, it discusses the constitutive role of violence as a condition of possibility of politics – highlighting the impossibility of separating the bloody moments of revolution from the constitution of the political community as a space of public freedom. The reconstructed debate on the relation between violence and freedom presents a fresh perspective on the justifiability and costs of violent resistance in circumstances of radical inequality and the extent to which liberation may remain an ongoing project to sustain the fragile achievement of freedom.

Contributor Notes

Tal Correm is a postdoctoral faculty fellow in liberal studies at New York University. Her research focuses on the intersection of ethics and political philosophy, specifically with relation to political violence in democratic transition. Her book project, Rethinking Sovereignty: Violence and the Promise of Political Resistance, studies the critique of violence in the work of Hannah Arendt, Frantz Fanon, and M. K. Gandhi, and their contribution to democratic theory. E-mail: tal.correm@nyu.edu ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5477-3426

Theoria

A Journal of Social and Political Theory

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