Student Number: W1370944
Is Arendt’s argument on human rights still relevant? Or has something changed today?
Hannah Arendt  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  suggests that people during totalitarian regimes who …show more content…
Arendt  suggests refugees are part of the conflict between the rights of man and sovereignty; that within a nation state they cannot co-exist without each other because rights seek the protection of the sovereign state. However at the same time rights can be destroyed as the state has the full power to expel a person and evoke their membership [95-111]. This is the true conflict between a person’s right to citizenship and sovereign power. Even a democracy that claims to protect its citizens can find that they violate civil rights on the notion that they are protecting their country from harm. It can be argued that Arendt’s views are extremely significant especially in recent years with national security and citizens of democratic countries being detained because of charges of crimes against the state, such as terrorism. Controversies have been caused because of the state using new powers to hold people who have not been charged with any crimes for longer periods of time. An example of this is in the UK where suspects were allowed to be held without