U.S. Racism and Derrida’s Theologico-Political Sovereignty

In Lisa Guenther, Geoffrey Adelsberg & Scott Zeman (eds.), Death and Other Penalties: Philosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration. Fordham UP. pp. 83-94 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This essay draws on the work of Jacques Derrida and Angela Y. Davis towards a philosophical resistance to the death penalty in the U.S. I find promise in Derrida’s claim that resistance to the death penalty ought to contest a political structure that founds itself on having the power to decide life and death, but I move beyond Derrida’s desire to consider the abolition of the death penalty without engaging with the particular histories and geographies of European colonialism. I offer a critique of Derrida’s recently published work on the death penalty by engaging with the work of Davis and argue that discussions of state violence in nations that inherit European forms of sovereignty must take seriously the racist violence on which those sovereign powers rely.



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Sovereignty as its Own Question: Derrida's Rogues.Nick Mansfield - 2008 - Contemporary Political Theory 7 (4):361-375.
Jacques Derrida on the secular as theologico-political.Andrea Cassatella - 2016 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 42 (10):1059-1081.
Derrida on the death penalty.Matthias Fritsch - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (s1):56-73.
The Human/Animal Logic of Sovereignty.David Baumeister - 2019 - Environmental Philosophy 16 (1):161-180.
Beastly Sovereignty.Geoffrey Bennington - 2019 - Environmental Philosophy 16 (1):13-33.
Rogue democracy.Samuel Weber - 2008 - Diacritics 38 (1/2):104-120.
From Death Penalty to Thanatopolitics.Sabeen Ahmed - 2019 - Philosophy Today 63 (2):293-314.


Added to PP

475 (#42,121)

6 months
139 (#27,850)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Geoffrey Adelsberg
Edgewood College

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references