Power and Authority: changes in public administration from Hannah Arendt’s political philosophy view





Hannah Arendt, Max Weber, totalitarianism, public realm, power, violence, authority, public administration


The article aims at revealing theoretical and practical perspectives on public administration by exploring/studying the key notions of Hannah Arendt’s political philosophy and by juxtaposing these notions with the ones that describe current practices of public administration. Furthermore, the article estimates/offers the possibilities to converge their meanings for strengthening power as communication, to preserve the public realm as a place for reality, limiting the role of coercion and violence in the societal organization by increasing the influence of the authority in the public realm.
The study used a range of logical methods (synthesis, analysis, inductive method, etc.) and such general scholarly approaches as systematic, structural-functional and bibliographic ones.
The article examines Hannah Arendt’s political philosophy as a motivation for changes of the existing social orders, as they were defined by Max Weber and constitute the grounding for the common understanding of public administration as a public sphere’s phenomenon. It demonstrates that such changes do not implicate a radical rejection of the common meanings of the notions like power, violence, and authority as they were defined in the “sociology of understanding”. But they open the way to a new development of the public realm/space and public administration respectively by demonstrating the opportunities in situations when freedom border on necessity.
A scholarly novelty of the article is an outline (definition) for the new developments in public administration under the influence of changes in democratic political systems as they were foreseen by Hannah Arendt. This research demonstrates the importance of implementing the notion of authority as a special phenomenon of the public realm/space into a theory and practice of public administration and argues for developing new methods and instruments to support it.
A practical significance of the article is bound to recent changes in democracy and nation state and the proposed findings of the study can be used in course readings, research, and (political) practice.


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Author Biography

Yuriy Ruban, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

PhD, Assistant Professor, Public Administration Department, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

How to Cite

Ruban, Y. (2019). Power and Authority: changes in public administration from Hannah Arendt’s political philosophy view. Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Public Administration, 12(2), 39-49. https://doi.org/10.17721/2616-9193.2019/12-4/8