The critical potential of Hannah Arendt’s thoughts is embedded in her concept of power which provides an as-yet disregarded but highly relevant approach for the analysis of contemporary political orders. Both the critical potential as well as the topicality of her thoughts are widely underestimated. This is primarily due to a distorted reading of her concept of power where it is seen as per se normative and non-repressive. In order to overcome this traditional and misleading interpretation, my paper reconstructs Arendt’s concept of power (I) and argues that her political thinking should be literally read as a critique of power. To illustrate this critical potential, the paper unfolds five dimensions of Arendt’s analysis of power: the political-participative (II), the socio-economic (III), the political-institutional and the ideological-critical (IV), and the ethical dimension (V).
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