Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Judicial ImaginationWriting After Nuremberg$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lyndsey Stonebridge

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748642359

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748642359.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

‘We Refugees’: Hannah Arendt and the Perplexities of Human Rights

‘We Refugees’: Hannah Arendt and the Perplexities of Human Rights

Chapter:
(p.101) Chapter 4 ‘We Refugees’: Hannah Arendt and the Perplexities of Human Rights
Source:
The Judicial Imagination
Author(s):

Lyndsey Stonebridge

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748642359.003.0004

Hannah Arendt later adopted Arthur Koestler's uncompromising title in her description of Europe's refugee population in The Origins of Totalitarianism. In Origins, she developed one of the most subtle and complex critiques of how the twentieth century ruptured historical fantasies about the inalienable sanctity of rights to emerge out of the war. Arendt's irony in ‘We Refugees’ both gives vent to the rage of a ‘we’ torn brutally from its language, occupation and memory and, through a subtle ventriloquism, protests against attempts to normalise the position of the refugee. The problem of the refugee for political life, Arendt later argued in Origins, is that her very non-political existence illuminates ‘the dark background of mere givenness’: that is, a life before rights, a non-political existence – the ‘background formed by our unchangeable and unique nature’, which is governed not by law, but by difference.

Keywords:   Hannah Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism, We Refugees, human rights, Arthur Koestler, non-political existence

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.