Critically Review the Degree to Which Globalisation Has Shaped ‘Transition’ Processes in Former Authoritarian Countries.

1855 Words Dec 27th, 2012 8 Pages
Name: Shaun Haley
Student Number: W1370944

Is Arendt’s argument on human rights still relevant? Or has something changed today?

Hannah Arendt [1] introduces us to the expression of the “right to have rights”, a universal right to speak and act in public which according to Arendt was more valuable even than the right to life. It exists because we are human beings and therefore part of a pluralistic society that is detached from a sovereign state or government. This was first realised by Arendt when she spoke of totalitarian European nation states which had an inability to protect people’s human rights; specifically focusing on Communism and Nazism [p.296]. In fact Arendt [1] suggests that people during totalitarian regimes who
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But did Arendt give any solution to this and is it still relevant to the political world we live in to today? When Arendt interprets humanity’s need to converge in to some sort of collective agreement in decision making she speaks of a “new law on earth” [Birmingham, 2006 p.4] which would mean politically, all countries uniting together to reach harmony so each individual’s human rights are enforced. Her arguments seem to be restricted to a world free of borders and sovereign states competing for their own benefits, instead of a world where ideas are shared and ideology the same. This utopian society she describes but quickly dismisses may seem idealistic in a far from perfect world. But Arendt supports a federalist approach were national past is somewhat cleansed of its arrogance, instead of a nation state built up of nationalistic sentiment.

Arendt argues a theory of regional federations rather than sovereign states. Real life examples such as the European Union an economic and political union of sovereign states can be analysed. It has open border agreements within the Schengen area and passport controls have been abolished. There has also been a ‘decriminalisation of movement’ [Benhabib, (2004) p.3] that has in the past been restricted in European countries, especially during the first and second world wars. EU citizens are free to work elsewhere with limited restrictions, there is a single market, and the EU ensures the free movement of
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