The Review of Politics

Research Article

Hannah Arendt on Love and the Political: Love, Friendship, and Citizenship

Shin Chiba

This article explores the theme of love and the political in the thought of Hannah Arendt by examining her attitude toward such kinds of love as eros, philia, agape, cupiditas, caritas, compassio, fraternitas. Arendt generally regards love as unpolitical because of its inherent inclination to exclude the outside world. But she has shown a sustained interest in the relationship between love and the political. Arendt's concern for love is dictated by her search for a new, public, and artificial vinculum—or bond. This public bond, what Arendt calls amor mundi, is basically grounded in the notion of political friendship. I argue that amor mundi would be of more relevance, if it included not only political friendship but an element of eros as the craving for the durable world as well as two strands of agape—love of forgiveness and an enlarged neighborly love.