Arendt on the Crime of Crimes

19 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2015

See all articles by David Luban

David Luban

Georgetown University Law Center

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Date Written: September 2015


Genocide is the intentional destruction of a group as such. What makes groups important, over and above the individual worth of the group's members? This paper explores Hannah Arendt's efforts to answer that question, and concludes that she failed. In the course of the argument, it examines her understanding of Jewish history, her ideas about “the social,” and her conception of “humanity” as a normative stance toward international responsibility rather than a descriptive concept.

Suggested Citation

Luban, David, Arendt on the Crime of Crimes (September 2015). Ratio Juris, Vol. 28, Issue 3, pp. 307-325, 2015, Available at SSRN: or

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