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Buckler Steve. Hannah Arendt and Political Theory: Challenging the Tradition
Edinburgh University Press Ltd. 2011. ISBN 978 0 7486 3902 1 (hardback). (193 pages).
Contents : Introduction - Thinking and Acting - Theory and Method - Theorising Dark Times: The Origins of Totalitarianism - Theorising Political Action: The Human Condition - Theorising New Beginnings: On Revolution - Political Theory and Political Ethics - The Role of the Theorist.

In an interview broadcast on West German television in 1964, Hannah Arendt, by then a famous political thinker, insisted that she did not regard herself as a ‘philosopher’ and had no desire to be seen as such: her conce was with politics. She was not even happy with the suggestion that what she did was ‘political philosophy’, regarding this as a term overloaded with tradition. She preferred what she took to be the less freighted epithet of ‘political theorist’. There is, Arendt argued, a fundamental tension between the philosophical and the political; and the historical tendency to think about the contingent and circumstantial business of politics from a philosophical point of view, seeking to speak about it in terms of the universal and the eteal, has had unfortunate consequences. In the light of this conviction, Arendt said she wished to look at politics ‘with eyes unclouded by philosophy’ (Arendt 1994: 2). The aim of this book is to
explore the implications of this statement as they make themselves felt in Arendt’s work and to suggest that they underwrite a distinctive, potent and consistently challenging way of theorising politics.
Arendt was an unorthodox political theorist. She wrote in an eclectic style, involving a mixture of idioms and she did not shy away from investing her work with elements of paradox and perplexity.
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