This collection of essays and interviews, some previously unpublished and almost all of which appear in English for the first time, encompasses the political and ethical thinking of Jacques Derrida over thirty years. Passionate, rigorous, beautifully argued, wide-ranging, the texts shed an entirely new light on his work and will be welcomed by scholars in many disciplines—politics, philosophy, history, cultural studies, literature, and a range of interdisciplinary programs.
Derrida's arguments vary in their responsiveness to given political questions—sometimes they are vivid polemics on behalf of a position or figure, sometimes they are reflective analyses of a philosophical problem. They are united by the recurrent question of political decision or responsibility and the insistence that the apparent simplicity or programmatic character of political decision is in fact a profound avoidance of the political. This volume testifies to the possibility and the necessity of a philosophical politics.
Negotiations assembles some of the most telling examples of the intrinsic relationship, so often affirmed by Derrida in more abstract philosophical terms, between deconstructive reading practices and what is called the "political"—more precisely, politics in an almost down-to-earth, pragmatic, and commonsense use of the word. Among the many subjects covered in the book are: the death penalty in the United States, the civil war in Algeria, globalization and cosmopolitanism, the American Declaration of Independence, Jean-Paul Sartre, the value of objectivity, politics and friendship, and the relationship between deconstruction and actuality.