Arendt scholars have given exhaustive attention to the importance of actors in Hannah Arendt's political thought. This paper focuses on the role of non-actors, which I argue are also important for a full understanding of her view of politics, freedom and power. It argues that instead of a monistic, action-centred model, Arendt advances a dualistic model of politics, a model which affords a unique position to non-acting beings through the conceptual distinction between actor and audience, or actor and spectator. My paper also argues that she might conceive an interaction between them when she offers a theatrical model of contemporary political action, relaxing the distinction which otherwise remains rigid through most of her work. This paper tries to show that civil disobedience presumes the sympathetic gaze of spectator because its actor requests the distinctively moral perspective of non-active audience in a theatrical setting of the public realm.
Civil Disobedience and the Politics of Theatre
Christian Fuchs and John Collier
Economic logic impinges on contemporary political theory through both economic reductionism and economic methodology applied to political decision-making (through game theory). The authors argue that the sort of models used are based on mechanistic and linear methodologies that have now been found wanting in physics. They further argue that complexity based self-organization methods are better suited to model the complexities of economy and polity and their interactions with the overall social system.
This article is an extension of my book on The Sociology of Elite Distinction. In this work, I sought to offer a discussion on the merits and limits of the major models of interpretation dealing with social distinction when confronted with empirical realities in a large number of environments. Here, I propose some reflections about the way historians have been using these sociological models. Although universalistic propositions were often developed, I argue that most grand theories were typical products of their time and also of the societies respectively taken into consideration. The question therefore arises as to what extent their (retrospective) use by historians seeking a conceptual apparatus is always pertinent. It is concluded that many theoretical models are valuable providing we do not see them as “reading grids” that could be systematically applied but rather as analytical tools which are more or less operational according to the contexts studied.
Stuart Hampshire and the Normality of Conflict
By way of an engagement with the thought of Stuart Hampshire and his account of the ‘normality of conflict’, this article articulates a novel distinction between two models of value pluralism. The first model identifies social and political conflict as the consequence of pluralism, whereas the second identifies pluralism as the consequence of social and political conflict. Failure to recognise this distinction leads to confusion about the implications of value pluralism for contemporary public ethics. The article illustrates this by considering the case of toleration. It contends that Hampshire’s model of pluralism offers a new perspective on the problem of toleration and illuminates a new way of thinking about the accommodation of diversity as ‘civility within conflict’.
A Case Study
W. Brian Newsome
This article investigates the experiences of French women in communities of single-family homes by analyzing Villagexpo, a model subdivision built in the Paris suburb of Saint-Michel-sur-Orge in 1966. Drawing on archival resources and recent interviews with original inhabitants, the article argues that the “village“ model of Villagexpo attracted a nucleus of couples with deep roots in associational movements. Committed to the concept of village life, they facilitated social activity in the subdivision, helping female residents overcome a sense of isolation. The article modifies previous, and largely negative, depictions of the experiences of women in communities of single-family homes and places Villagexpo in the context of broader urban trends.
Daniel Herwitz reviews: Adorno, Theodor W. Critical Models: Interventions and Catchwords, translated by Henry Pickford (New York: Columbia Press, 1998).
Suzanne Berry reviews: Lötter, Hennie. Injustice, Violence and Peace. The Case of South Africa (Amsterdam & Atlanta: Editions Rodopi, 1997).
Roger Deacon reviews: Gramsci, Antonio. Prison Notebooks, Volume II, edited and translated by Joseph E. Buttigieg (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996).
Michael J.C. Echeruo
Chinua Achebe’s novel, Anthills of the Savannah, is about history and its many models; and especially about national histories and their realisation.1 It asks how history is to be understood and consummated especially for a people without a canonical narrative.2 A recurrent, though not the exclusive, example that stands behind the answers offered in that novel is that of Biblical history.
Machiavelli, Hobbes and the Global Order in the Twenty-first Century
In outlining a model of sovereignty, this article makes constructive reference to the ideas of Machiavelli and Hobbes concerning the fundamental structures of modern statehood, and ultimately argues for a sovereignty without morality – but not without restraints. A central element is the idea that in terms of legal theory, limitations on sovereignty should not come from some other context, but should instead be developed solely in reference to itself and its inherent contradictions: this could be the future of sovereignty.
In Cosmopolitan Justice1 Moellendorf carries on the work begun by theorists such as Charles Beitz and Thomas Pogge,2 further developing a cosmopolitan model of justice. Like Beitz and Pogge, he too modifies the Rawlsian approach to support a model of global justice that is more focused on individuals rather than states and proposes much bolder principles that are to define just interaction at the international level. Moellendorf also goes further than either of these theorists has hitherto gone in showing how a cosmopolitan model of justice could actually be applied to a range of pressing problems of global justice (including immigration, protectionism, justified intervention, debt cancellation, and dealing with the costs of global warming) and this is one of the key strengths of the book. With the exception of justified intervention, I will not discuss these applications here, though Moellendorf’s treatments of all these issues contain insights worthy of more attention. Rather, my focus in this paper will be on some central theoretical aspects of what cosmopolitan justice demands of us.
Adorno, Levinas and the Pathologies of Freedom
Eric S. Nelson
Adorno and Levinas argue from distinct yet intersecting perspectives that there are pathological forms of freedom, formed by systems of power and economic exchange, which legitimate the neglect, exploitation and domination of others. In this paper, I examine how the works of Adorno and Levinas assist in diagnosing the aporias of liberty in contemporary capitalist societies by providing critical models and strategies for confronting present discourses and systems of freedom that perpetuate unfreedom such as those ideologically expressed in possessive individualist and libertarian conceptions of freedom.