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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.

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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Textual spectrality and Finnegans Wake
Matthew Schultz

Introduction: Textual spectrality and Finnegans Wake ‘Why this hunt for ghosts?’ (Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx) The October 2010 special issue of PMLA – Literary Criticism for the Twenty-First Century – assembled a collection of shorter essays that forecast possible paradigm shifts in literary criticism. In the introductory essay, Jonathan Culler aptly notes a salient feature appearing throughout the issue: ‘the motif of return: return to rhetoric, a return to thematics, a return to textual criticism…’1 As it mines contributors’ varied attempts to sketch

in Haunted historiographies
Michael O’Sullivan

MUP FINAL PROOF – <STAGE>, 09/13/2013, SPi 5 International comparisons Jacques Derrida, Pierre Bourdieu and the French University The work of leading French academics such as Pierre Bourdieu and Jacques Derrida on education points to key differences in emphasis in the Irish and French university systems. However, the French university system did share, only much earlier, many of the key changes that have come to Irish universities since the 1980s. It experienced a surge in university numbers slightly earlier than its Irish counterpart. Alain Bienayme notes

in The humanities and the Irish university
Simon Wortham

? It is dead! I tell you it’s dead! … I’m totally convinced that deconstruction started dying from the very first day. Jacques Derrida, ‘As if I were dead’ 1 If it were possible to separate the two (as Baudrillard claims, and Derrida does not) I

in Rethinking the university
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The art of memory
Simon Wortham

historical narrative one could imagine. As a kind of ‘“bad” memory’, it would revive the art of memory forgotten by history itself. Notes 1 Paul de Man, ‘Reply to Raymond Geuss’, Critical Inquiry (December 1983) 389–90, quoted in Jacques Derrida, The art of

in Rethinking the university
Maja Zehfuss

Ferdinand de Saussure’s arguments in order to offer some thoughts on the role of naming in relation to the Kosovo conflict. Naming concerns the relationship of language and reality. Using Jacques Derrida’s thought, the second section argues that the idea of the existence of a reality, which constrains our actions, is itself a representation, which has political implications. The third section explores how

in Mapping European security after Kosovo
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Nicholas Royle

without a sort of side thinking? / Where was I? Imagine Jacques Derrida writing about Kant or Hegel or Freud and stopping to ask: ‘Where was I?’ But her writing does this to him, to me too, indeed to anyone I suspect willing to try to respond, to think with or alongside her. Her writing keeps veering, keeps us veering, it’s so quick, it’s the lift-off, the speed of what Derrida, in H.C. for Life , calls ‘the quasi-infinite acceleration inside the “might” ’ (72), a speed of ‘displacement in writing’ (73), where everything will have begun with displacement and

in Hélène Cixous
Stella Gaon

or an impediment to – radical democratic praxis. In this sense, the relationship between democracy and radical otherness that I propose builds on and refines Jacques Derrida’s notion of the democracy-to-come, insofar as I insist that, inherent in the very possibility of ‘democracy’ as such, there lies a constitutive demand for openness to an unanticipatable future (an alterity) that the encounter with an other provokes. To be sure, this openness to radical otherness at the heart of democracy is merely the minimal condition of possibility, not the guarantee, of

in Democracy in crisis
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