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A Criticism of Arendt's Concept of Ideology (2012-2013)

Field of study: Political Science, Political Theory, Philosophy

Hannah Arendt provides what could be called a narrow account of ideology: in it, ideology is mainly a feature of totalitarian or proto‑totalitarian regimes and as such opposed to politics as Arendt understands it. After a brief discussion of Arendt’s understanding of ideology and the benefits of such an understanding of the concept, I will introduce a concept of ideology that establishes ideologies to be a part of political life. Implicitly, this will highlight some aspects of political reality that are ignored by
Arendt’s political theory. In the end, I will suggest how Arendt’s theory could be amended accordingly.

Keywords: Arendt, Gramsci, Ideology, Politics, Political Theory, Political Philosophy, Republicanism

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