Decision, hegemony and law: Derrida and Laclau

Philosophy and Social Criticism 22 (4):71-80 (1996)
How to introduce 'politics' as a specific concept within a deconstructive style of thinking? In order to answer this question, this contribution compares Derrida with Laclau. According to the former the starting-point of a deconstructive style of thinking is différance. It links together the economic detour of homecoming and the relation to otherness. Laclau's analysis of politics as hegemonization within a situation of undecidability presupposes this notion of différance and can therefore be useful in introducing politics within a deconstructive style of thinking. But there still is a major difference between Derrida and Laclau's decisionism: if différance as the relation without relation of economy and otherness cannot avoid decisions based on power in order to stabilize the social, these decisions are always marked by passivity and therefore deconstructible in the name of 'justice' that exceeds politics even if it takes place nowhere but within politics. Key Words: decisionism • . Derrida • . hegemony • . Laclau • . law.
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DOI 10.1177/019145379602200404
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