Violence as Anti-Politics: A Political Philosophy Perspective

International Political Science Association, 21st World Congress of Political Science, Santiago, Chile, July 12-16, 2009

14 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2014

Date Written: April 7, 2014

Abstract

Half a century ago, the philosopher Hannah Arendt distinguishes power from violence. Using her idea as an entry point, this paper will argue that the notion of "political violence" is a contradiction in terms because violence "kills" politics. The paper begins with a discussion of prevalent use of the term "political violence" in political science. Then it raises the question what does violence do to politics with some critique of Slovoj Zizek's current understanding of the notion of violence. It then concludes with a re-reading of Thucydides' Melian Dialogue, generally considered the pillar of realist politics, as an attempt to elucidate how violence could "kill" politics.

Keywords: politics, power, violence, anti-politics

Suggested Citation

Satha-Anand, Chaiwat, Violence as Anti-Politics: A Political Philosophy Perspective (April 7, 2014). International Political Science Association, 21st World Congress of Political Science, Santiago, Chile, July 12-16, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2421166 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2421166

Chaiwat Satha-Anand (Contact Author)

Thammasat University ( email )

Bangkok, 10200
Thailand

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