Arendt's Phenomenology of the Political

This intervention is based on a chapter where Hannah Arendt is taken as the most representative thinker of the autonomy of the political in modern constitutional orders. What is challenged in the chapter is her idea of political action as action by plurality. The author points out that her account of plurality travels so freely because she cuts it loose from the field of collective identifications and speaking positions: un-fettered from the ‘social’ condition and the field of association that would have grounded it, it becomes a floating signifier immeasurably useful to the champions of ‘constitutional pluralism’ and ‘global cosmopolitanism’ and other accommodations of capitalism. The discussion will use Arendt's constitutional theory to debate on the potential offered by the idea of political autonomy in constitutional orders.