Hannah Arendt and Representative Democracy: Authority as a Non-Foundational Category

04 October 2021, Version 1


Hannah Arendt is a widely influential thinker, but her work has been much less associated with theories of representative democracy and political representation. This paper discusses Arendt's notion of authority as a source for 'worldly permanence and reliability' that makes a valuable contribution to non-foundationalist and constructivist perspectives on representative democracy. Situated in Arendt's framework of action, freedom and power, authority is a faculty that denotes both Arendt's temporal conception of power and the world in which it unfolds.



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