Reclaiming the Public: Hanna Arendt and the Political Constitution

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Abstract

My thesis seeks to reconcile British public law with an entity strangely alien to it, the people themselves. In other words, this is an attempt to re-discover the ‘public’ element of public law. Hannah Arendt, the primary theoretical focus of my work, challenged the people to recognize themselves as part of the problem of ‘modernity’; the problem, that is to say, of political apathy and thus the emergence of forms of government repugnant to the human condition; to consciously reinvent themselves as politically engaged citizens; and to thus reconstitute traditional structures of authority, sovereignty and law. This is an onerous task, most salient in times of revolution, and so it is to the tumultuous climate of 17th century England that I look for evidence of these ideas (albeit briefly) emerging in the English (and, laterally, British) context, before considering the reasons for their failure to establish a firm foothold on the constitutional terrain, and the lessons this might have for the public, and public lawyers, today. For Arendt law was the means by which we ‘belonged’ to a community, and the means by which we ‘promised’ to maintain a public space within that community in order to participate and confer authority to government. It is this underdeveloped aspect of her work which I will first explore, and then put to work in the context of the British constitution.
LanguageEnglish
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
  • University of Glasgow
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Tomkins, Adam, Supervisor, External person
  • Anderson, Gavin, Supervisor, External person
Award date1 Jun 2011
Place of PublicationGlasgow
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2010

Fingerprint

public law
constitution
political apathy
Law
public space
lawyer
sovereignty
community
modernity
climate
citizen
firm
evidence
time

Keywords

  • British public law
  • Hannah Arendt
  • government
  • British constitution

Cite this

@phdthesis{30a2dc0305da4093b62e619f9f0efbb2,
title = "Reclaiming the Public: Hanna Arendt and the Political Constitution",
abstract = "My thesis seeks to reconcile British public law with an entity strangely alien to it, the people themselves. In other words, this is an attempt to re-discover the ‘public’ element of public law. Hannah Arendt, the primary theoretical focus of my work, challenged the people to recognize themselves as part of the problem of ‘modernity’; the problem, that is to say, of political apathy and thus the emergence of forms of government repugnant to the human condition; to consciously reinvent themselves as politically engaged citizens; and to thus reconstitute traditional structures of authority, sovereignty and law. This is an onerous task, most salient in times of revolution, and so it is to the tumultuous climate of 17th century England that I look for evidence of these ideas (albeit briefly) emerging in the English (and, laterally, British) context, before considering the reasons for their failure to establish a firm foothold on the constitutional terrain, and the lessons this might have for the public, and public lawyers, today. For Arendt law was the means by which we ‘belonged’ to a community, and the means by which we ‘promised’ to maintain a public space within that community in order to participate and confer authority to government. It is this underdeveloped aspect of her work which I will first explore, and then put to work in the context of the British constitution.",
keywords = "British public law, Hannah Arendt, government, British constitution",
author = "Christopher McCorkindale",
year = "2010",
month = "9",
day = "30",
language = "English",
school = "University of Glasgow",

}

Reclaiming the Public: Hanna Arendt and the Political Constitution. / McCorkindale, Christopher.

Glasgow, 2010. 310 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

TY - THES

T1 - Reclaiming the Public: Hanna Arendt and the Political Constitution

AU - McCorkindale, Christopher

PY - 2010/9/30

Y1 - 2010/9/30

N2 - My thesis seeks to reconcile British public law with an entity strangely alien to it, the people themselves. In other words, this is an attempt to re-discover the ‘public’ element of public law. Hannah Arendt, the primary theoretical focus of my work, challenged the people to recognize themselves as part of the problem of ‘modernity’; the problem, that is to say, of political apathy and thus the emergence of forms of government repugnant to the human condition; to consciously reinvent themselves as politically engaged citizens; and to thus reconstitute traditional structures of authority, sovereignty and law. This is an onerous task, most salient in times of revolution, and so it is to the tumultuous climate of 17th century England that I look for evidence of these ideas (albeit briefly) emerging in the English (and, laterally, British) context, before considering the reasons for their failure to establish a firm foothold on the constitutional terrain, and the lessons this might have for the public, and public lawyers, today. For Arendt law was the means by which we ‘belonged’ to a community, and the means by which we ‘promised’ to maintain a public space within that community in order to participate and confer authority to government. It is this underdeveloped aspect of her work which I will first explore, and then put to work in the context of the British constitution.

AB - My thesis seeks to reconcile British public law with an entity strangely alien to it, the people themselves. In other words, this is an attempt to re-discover the ‘public’ element of public law. Hannah Arendt, the primary theoretical focus of my work, challenged the people to recognize themselves as part of the problem of ‘modernity’; the problem, that is to say, of political apathy and thus the emergence of forms of government repugnant to the human condition; to consciously reinvent themselves as politically engaged citizens; and to thus reconstitute traditional structures of authority, sovereignty and law. This is an onerous task, most salient in times of revolution, and so it is to the tumultuous climate of 17th century England that I look for evidence of these ideas (albeit briefly) emerging in the English (and, laterally, British) context, before considering the reasons for their failure to establish a firm foothold on the constitutional terrain, and the lessons this might have for the public, and public lawyers, today. For Arendt law was the means by which we ‘belonged’ to a community, and the means by which we ‘promised’ to maintain a public space within that community in order to participate and confer authority to government. It is this underdeveloped aspect of her work which I will first explore, and then put to work in the context of the British constitution.

KW - British public law

KW - Hannah Arendt

KW - government

KW - British constitution

UR - http://theses.gla.ac.uk/2625/

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

CY - Glasgow

ER -