Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Mark Golub

Reader 2

John Seery

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Rights Information

© 2017 Tarai S. Zemba


The US is currently experiencing a confusing and problematic shift in politics under Donald Trump, who continues to disrupt the status quo of American democracy. Such a reality begs us to ask the question of what politics means, and what it should mean for the future. Throughout history, many philosophers and theorists, such as Thomas Hobbes and Max Weber, have identified the meaning of politics as obedience and domination over others. However, such an interpretation is incredibly dangerous, closely aligning with the historical values of authoritarian and totalitarian governments.

Political theorist Hannah Arendt provides a solution to this dilemma, exposing the much more productive explanation that politics can only be achieved through the realization of equality. Additionally, she demonstrates that the key to this political utopia lies within the personal, as her humanistic concept of ‘plurality’ sheds light on how true politics can be achieved within society. Further, through such recognition, we can illuminate the dangers that the world faces when authority figures do not possess such a quality.