Hannah Arendt's Constitutionalism
A special issue of Laws (ISSN 2075-471X).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 3017
Interests: Justice and Jurisprudence; Heidegger, Nietzsche, Kant, Plato, Aristotle; dignity; history and philosophy of science; politics and aesthetics
Two central chapters in Hannah Arendt's last book On Revolution set the American constitutional tradition at the center of her inquiry into the founding and preservation of political freedom. In "Foundation I: Constitutio Libertatis", Arendt argues that the central innovation of the American revolution was the constitutional embrace of federalism and the "consistent abolition of sovereignty within the body politics of the republic". It is the constitution’s federal principle that allows for the multiplication and flourishing of power within a stable system. The following chapter, "Foundation II: Novus Ordo Saeculorum", offers an original reading of the Supreme Court as the successor of the Roman Senate. The Court's authority allowed the Constitution to come to be worshipped in a way that tied together permanence and change. The combination of power and authority that the U.S. Constitution allows is, Arendt argues, the modern condition for the possibility of founding free government.
Hannah Arendt's reflections on constitutionalism and its implication for domestic and international law, as well as for the relations between countries and between different groups within countries, have garnered renewed interest in recent years. One may think for example of the collection of essays Hannah Arendt and the Law, edited by Marco Goldoni and Chris McCorkindale (2012), Christian Volk's Arendtian Constitutionalism (2015), recent explorations into the tensions between constituent power and constituted power in Arendt's work (Muldoon 2016; Popp-Madsen 2021) and various other essays on this topic that came out in the past decade. This scholarship has opened up new horizons for thinking about Arendt's contribution to constitutional and legal thought and highlighted the way that focusing on these aspects of Arendt's thought allows for new and important perspectives on her political theory as a whole.
This Special Issue seeks to bring Arendt's contribution to constitutional and legal thought and the role these topics play in her thought into a sharper focus. We invite contributions from researchers who are interested in Arendt's constitutional thinking; how she saw constitutions as essential to the ambition of founding freedom; the way she challenged or complemented other constitutional thinkers; the relations between her reflections on (most famously) the American constitution and her understanding of the meaning of politics, federalism and civil disobedience; her support for a council system; and other related topics in Arendt's political theory or in conversation with it.
Prof. Dr. Roger Berkowitz
Dr. Shmuel Lederman
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Laws is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.