Rogues: Two Essays on Reason

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"Rogues is Derrida's most sustained reflection on deconstruction's relation to political theory in general and to the idea of democracy in particular. . . . Highly recommended."—CHOICE

“It is clear that Derrida was keen that the idea of ‘democracy to come’ would be central to the legacy of his thought, and for those who choose to take up that burden, Rogues will prove essential.”—Times Literary Supplement

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Rogues is Derrida's most sustained reflection on deconstruction's relation to political theory in general and to the idea of democracy in particular. . . . Highly recommended."—CHOICE

"It is clear that Derrida was keen that the idea of 'democracy to come' would be central to the legacy of his thought, and for those who choose to take up that burden, Rogues will prove essential."—Times Literary Supplement

Library Journal
Although some critics contended that Derrida (1930-2004) turned more to the political later in his life, his last book demonstrates that his deconstruction always contained the kernels of political discourse. That politics occupied a central place in Derrida's mind and work should have always been clear from his early essays on Rousseau, Hegel, and Plato in Writing and Difference and Dissemination. Here, he deconstructs the notions of sovereignty, democracy, reason, terrorism, and rogue states. In his typically rigorous fashion, Derrida examines in detail the ways that language constructs and deconstructs our political ideas. Thus, "Pure sovereignty does not exist; it is always in the process of positing itself by refuting itself of betraying itself by betraying the democracy that nonetheless can never do without it." While democratic sovereign states, those capable of ruling within the bounds of international laws, ostensibly act with reason and justice, they often act outside of those boundaries, thus becoming rogue states. He points to the United States's flouting of the UN Security Council's lack of support for a war in Iraq as a perfect example of a sovereign turning into a rogue. With his deft prose, amazing philosophical erudition, and exacting method, he deconstructs the phrase "rogue state" (Etat voyou) while tracing the legacy of sovereignty from Bacon and Hobbes to the oft-neglected 20th-century political philosopher Carl Schmitt. Recommended especially for large libraries that serve college or university communities, academic libraries, and libraries wanting a complete collection of Derrida's works.-Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Lancaster, PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804749510
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/22/2004
  • Series: Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,472,229
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

The late Jacques Derrida was Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. Among the most recent of his many books to have been translated into English are Eyes of the University (2003), For What Tomorrow... with Elisabeth Roudinesco (2003), Counterpath with Catherine Malabou (2003), Negotiations (2002), Who's Afraid of Philosophy? (2002), and Without Alibi (2002). All of these have been published by Stanford University Press.
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Table of Contents

Preface : Veni
Pt. I The reason of the strongest (are there rogue states?)
1 The free wheel 6
2 License and freedom : the roue 19
3 The other of democracy, the "by turns" : alternative and alternation 28
4 Mastery and measure 42
5 Liberty, equality, fraternity, or, how not to speak in mottos 56
6 The rogue that I am 63
7 God, what more do I have to say? : in what language to come? 71
8 The last of the rogue states : the "democracy to come," opening in two turns 78
9 (No) more rogue states 95
10 Sending 108
Pt. II The "world" of the enlightenment to come (exception, calculation, and sovereignty)
1 Teleology and architectonic : the neutralization of the event 118
2 To arrive - at the ends of the state (and of war, and of world war) 141
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Rogues, published in France under the title Voyous, comprises two major lectures that Derrida delivered in 2002 investigating the foundations of the sovereignty of the nation-state. The term “État voyou” is the French equivalent of “rogue state,” and it is this outlaw designation of certain countries by the leading global powers that Derrida rigorously and exhaustively examines.
Derrida examines the history of the concept of sovereignty, engaging with the work of Bodin, Hobbes, Rousseau, Schmitt, and others. Against this background, he delineates his understanding of “democracy to come,” which he distinguishes clearly from any kind of regulating ideal or teleological horizon. The idea that democracy will always remain in the future is not a temporal notion. Rather, the phrase would name the coming of the unforeseeable other, the structure of an event beyond calculation and program. Derrida thus aligns this understanding of democracy with the logic he has worked out elsewhere. But it is not just political philosophy that is brought under deconstructive scrutiny here: Derrida provides unflinching and hard-hitting assessments of current political realities, and these essays are highly engaged with events of the post-9/11 world.

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