Human Rights in Hanna Arendt

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Gavriil-Nikolaos Papadopoulos
Michaela Thalasseli
Constantina Milona


The basis of modernity and the consolidation of human rights are placed
chronologically during the French Revolution. Every citizen was a bearer of
rights as a member of the French nation, while those outside the national context
did not hold citizenship. Gradually and as a direct consequence of the
wars with the consequent population movements and the circumvention of
the national sovereignty of national authorities, several populations ended up
as minorities or were displaced from their domiciles.
Arendt noted the large number of the displaced, during the time of focus
of her research, from the interwar period to the 1940s. The status of the exiled
from the political community without citizenship and rights and the general
state of loss of statehood was due to the fact that borders had been liquidated
and national sovereignty was not granted in relation to the policy of totalitarian
regimes such as Germany, which aimed at the marginalization or even
neutralization of specific social groups. Those were social groups constructed
on the basis of gender, origin, class and ideology (Jews, gypsies, communists,
etc.). The deprivation of these groups of their rights, as in the case of the Jews
in Germany, made it particularly difficult for international and non-state actors
to subsequently try to alleviate this situation.

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