Contentious Politics and Modern Political Thought: A Comparative Study of the Concepts of Politics and the Political in the Works of Hannah Arendt, Sidney Tarrow and Charles Tilly

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Yared Akarapattananukul


This article aims to understand the concepts of ‘contentious politics’ by comparing the concepts of political violence, revolution, and civil disobedience in the work of Hannah Arendt to the practitioners of the structuralist approach, i.e., Sidney Tarrow and Charles Tilly. The comparative study result points out the highly divergent understanding of contentious politics and its relationship to politics amongst these two approaches. Arendt differentiates the concept of political violence from that of revolution and civil disobedience in terms of being in and out of the political sphere. That is to say, for Arendt, violence is defined by its opposition to politics because the practice of violence denies the freedom of action and speech. However, Arendt binds up the concepts of revolution and civil disobedience within the realm of politics, which brings about the various public activities. On the other hand, the structuralists show the relationship between contention, politics and collective action by focusing on the discontinuity of politics. In addition, other political thinkers also contribute a great deal to articulate the relationship between contentious politics and politics in various ways.


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Akarapattananukul ญ. (2021). Contentious Politics and Modern Political Thought: A Comparative Study of the Concepts of Politics and the Political in the Works of Hannah Arendt, Sidney Tarrow and Charles Tilly. Journal of Social Sciences Naresuan University, 17(2), 45–67.
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