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Alexandra Warwick

This article examines the prevalence of Gothic in contemporary culture and criticism. It suggests that the description Gothic’ has become widespread in the aftermath of Derrida‘s work Spectres of Marx and that this threatens to undermine Gothics usefulness as a critical category. In examining contemporary culture it identifies the notions of trauma and mourning in the popular imagination as having contributed to a condition where Gothic no longer expresses the anxiety of the fragmented subject, but reaches towards a valorisation of damaged subjectivity.

Gothic Studies
The case for societal constitutionalism
Editor: Diana Göbel
Author: Gunther Teubner

This volume collects and revises the key essays of Gunther Teubner, one of the world’s leading sociologists of law. Written over the past twenty years, these essays examine the ‘dark side’ of functional differentiation and the prospects of societal constitutionalism as a possible remedy. Teubner’s claim is that critical accounts of law and society require reformulation in the light of the sophisticated diagnoses of late modernity in the writings of Niklas Luhmann, Jacques Derrida and select examples of modernist literature. Autopoiesis, deconstruction and other post-foundational epistemological and political realities compel us to confront the fact that fundamental democratic concepts such as law and justice can no longer be based on theories of stringent argumentation or analytical philosophy. We must now approach law in terms of contingency and self-subversion rather than in terms of logical consistency and rational coherence.

Open Access (free)
Brad Evans

battles, its pronouncements are never objective, self-evident or universally applied ( Evans, 2013 ). Arendt’s claim that violence can be justified but never legitimate must be reversed: violence is often legitimated in political arenas and juridical courts; but it can never be justified through an invocation of justice, except where the latter is limited to a reductive juridical paradigm. Justice is not law ( Derrida, 1992 ). Justice is the ability to live a life with dignity and free from lawful violence. Justice in this regard is not the end of power. It is an

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
New theoretical directions

Materiality has long been tied to the political projects of nationalism and capitalism. But how are we to rethink borders in this context? Is the border the limit where the capitalist nation-state, contested and re-created at its centre, becomes fixed? Or is it something else? Is the border something, or does it instead do things? This volume brings questions of materiality to bear specifically on the study of borders. These questions address specifically the shift from ontology to process in thinking about borders. The political materialities of borders does not presume the material aspect of borders but rather explores the ways in which any such materiality comes into being. Through ethnographic and philosophical explorations of the ontology of borders and its limitations from the perspective of materiality, this volume seeks to throw light on the interaction between the materiality of state borders and the non-material aspects of state-making. This enables a new understanding of borders as productive of the politics of materiality, on which both the state project rests, including its multifarious forms in the post-nation-state era.

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Author: Nicholas Royle

This book provides a lucid, wide-ranging and up-to-date critical introduction to the writings of Hélène Cixous (1937–). Cixous is often considered ‘difficult’. Moreover she is extraordinarily prolific, having published dozens of books, essays, plays and other texts. Royle avoids any pretence of a comprehensive survey, instead offering a rich and diverse sampling. At once expository and playful, original and funny, this micrological approach enables a new critical understanding and appreciation of Cixous’s writing. If there is complexity in her work, Royle suggests, there is also uncanny simplicity and great pleasure. The book focuses on key motifs such as dreams, the supernatural, literature, psychoanalysis, creative writing, realism, sexual differences, laughter, secrets, the ‘Mother unconscious’, drawing, painting, autobiography as ‘double life writing’, unidentifiable literary objects (ULOs), telephones, non-human animals, telepathy and the ‘art of cutting’. Particular stress is given to Cixous’s work in relation to Sigmund Freud and Jacques Derrida, as well as to her importance in the context of ‘English literature’. There are close readings of Shakespeare, Emily Brontë, P. B. Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Lewis Carroll, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, for example, alongside in-depth explorations of her own writings, from Inside (1969) and ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’ (1975) up to the present. Royle’s book will be of particular interest to students and academics coming to Cixous’s work for the first time, but it will also appeal to readers interested in contemporary literature, creative writing, life writing, narrative theory, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, queer theory, ecology, drawing and painting.

Thinking the present

This book offers the first authoritative guide to assumptions about time in theories of contemporary world politics. It demonstrates how predominant theories of the international or global ‘present’ are affected by temporal assumptions, grounded in western political thought, which fundamentally shape what we can and cannot know about world politics today. In so doing, the book puts into question the ways in which social scientists and normative theorists diagnose ‘our’ post-Cold War times. The first part of the book traces the philosophical roots of assumptions about time in contemporary political and international theory. The second part examines contemporary theories of world politics, including liberal and realist International Relations theories and the work of Habermas, Hardt and Negri, Virilio and Agamben. In each case, it is argued, assumptions about political time ensure the identification of the particular temporality of western experience with the political temporality of the world as such and put the theorist in the unsustainable position of holding the key to the direction of world history. In the final chapter, the book draws on postcolonial and feminist thinking, and the philosophical accounts of political time in the work of Derrida and Deleuze, to develop a new ‘untimely’ way of thinking about time in world politics.

Who, we?
Catherine Kellogg

5302P Democracy MUP-PT/lb.qxd 1111 2 3 4 5111 6 7 8 9 10111 11 12 3111 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40 1 42111 23/10/09 16:09 Page 179 8 The ends of democracy: who, we? Catherine Kellogg Jacques Derrida first delivered his essay ‘The ends of man’ (1982) at a colloquium in New York in October 1968 on the proposed theme of ‘Philosophy and anthropology’. This text, written in the shadow of an ‘American’ war on Vietnam, the uprisings in Paris, and general political unrest in the West, begins by meditating on what he calls

in Democracy in crisis
The mutual paranoia of Jacques Derrida and Niklas Luhmann
Gunther Teubner

I  System versus différance Niklas Luhmann and Jacques Derrida have made the same diagnosis as regards the sober world of lawyers and economists. 1 Where other people observe rational decisions based on cost–benefit calculations and on rule–fact subsumptions, their diagnosis is that of the madness of decision. In contrast to all analyses of rational choice, games theory

in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis
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Derrida's recreational pharmacology and the rhetoric of drugs
Dave Boothroyd

2 Medusa’s blood: Derrida’s recreational pharmacology and the rhetoric of drugs ‘Drugs’ is both a word and a concept, even before one adds quotation marks to indicate that one is only mentioning and not using, that one is not buying, selling or ingesting the ‘stuff itself’ (la chose même). (Derrida, 1995: 228)1 The decision on drugs To remove any possible suspicion at the outset of an interview on drugs, Derrida reassures his reader – who may after all be a member of the Drug Squad – that to speak of drugs is not the same as to be on them or to be on the wrong

in Culture on drugs
Jeremy Tambling

. Derrida, Lacan and writing Derrida discussed Lacan’s reading of ‘The Purloined Letter’ in the essay ‘Le Facteur de la Vérité’ (Derrida, 1987: 413–96). He accuses Lacan of framing Poe’s story to produce his own meaning: by omitting from his triangular structure the fourth voice which narrates, and which has another vision from the ones already discussed

in Literature and psychoanalysis