Deleuze and Derrida on the Concept and Future of Democracy

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This paper argues that Deleuze and Derrida share a conception of the open-ended character of political concepts that resembles in some respects the constructivist approach of Rawls and other liberal theorists. It explores the hypothesis that their understanding of concepts is related to their essentially critical conception of the task of political philosophy. It discusses Deleuze's ‘becoming-democratic’ and Derrida's ‘democracy to come’ in order to show how both philosophers offer ‘transformative’ concepts that draw in different ways upon elements of existing conceptions of democracy in order to open up new approaches to democratic politics. It points to strengths and weaknesses of both approaches before suggesting, finally, that Derrida's use of his concept of ‘democracy to come’ is in some ways the more adventurous.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-23
JournalDistinktion: The Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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