Arendtian Beginning Under the Threat of Violence

Sanem Yazicioglu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter discusses how in Hannah Arendt’s work the relation of action and violence is understood. For Arendt, action and speech are the actualization of those capacities in ever-new forms. However, those capacities can only be actualized in human plurality: a plurality of equal and distinct individuals. Therefore, in its different appearances and with its different tools, the threat of violence for the individual and for the political realm consists in its intrinsic possibility (which is also its aim) to destruct human capacities and human plurality. In our economical-global world, the political categories such as equality or political action are no longer emphasized. Rather, the true concern in the world to accelerate the flow of economic growth. Human beings are not exceptions to this process: they are constantly under the threat of being turned into mere “human materials” for this growth. The author examines this relation between action, beginning, and potentiality, and she indicates how plurality and power interact. Moreover, she outlines how violence transforms human beings into human material and indicates how the problems of inequality and the emphasis on an economic agenda produces millions of displaced people.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContinental Perspectives in Commmunity
Subtitle of host publicationHuman Coexistence from Unity to Plurality
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780367810290
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2019


  • Arendt
  • migration
  • beginning
  • initiative


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