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Stefania Fantauzzi   1
  • 1 University of Barcelona, C/Montalegre, 6, Barcelona, Spain 08001

The Transmission of the Revolutionary Spirit: Reflections on Civil Disobedience in Hannah Arendt

2018, vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 131–143 [issue contents]
The aim of this paper is to take up Hannah Arendt’s analysis on civil disobedience. This is one aspect of Arendt’s thought which represents a powerful spur towards a positive and meaningful view of the world we live in. In taking up this argument I start from Arendt’s idea of the law, discussing its relational dimension and its links to the consensus universalis, seen as a conscious, wholehearted adhesion to the laws of a country. Bearing these two points in mind, I then consider Arendt’s proposal, put forward in her essay “Civil Disobedience,” for making the spirit of the law compatible with civil disobedience. The idea that civil disobedience is compatible with the spirit of the law represents, for Arendt, the acknowledgement of the community’s constitutive function, in which individuals define themselves in their relationships with others, drawing on a type of justice which emerges from the encounter of differing opinions. From this perspective, I explain how civil disobedience allows citizens to assert their public freedom, thereby adding something new to the world and exercising their responsibility. Thus for Arendt civil disobedience reaffirms the creation, also fostered by the revolutionary spirit, of a space of permanent participation in public life: a shared arena for the enjoyment of public happiness.
Citation: Fantauzzi S. (2018) Transmissiya revolyutsionnogo dukha: razmyshleniya Khanny Arendt o grazhdanskom nepovinovenii [The Transmission of the Revolutionary Spirit: Reflections on Civil Disobedience in Hannah Arendt]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 17, no 4, pp. 131-143
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