Derrida's Political Emotions

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The "affective turn" is often viewed as a turn away from poststructuralism, in the belief that linguistic or constructivist models are incapable of accounting for the principally biological or materialist category of "affect." This article argues that affect is, however, central to deconstruction, notably to its conception of the political. For Derrida, the affectionate bonds that tie us to ourselves and to others are always accompanied by anxiety in the face of incalculable loss or destruction. This paradox has important implications for the "politics of deconstruction," considered here as an attempt to think through the structural contamination of affect and technics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-408
Number of pages27
JournalTheory and Event
Issue number2
Early online date20 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2017

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Humanities Health and Science


  • Derrida
  • deconstruction
  • politics
  • psychoanalysis
  • terrorism
  • affect


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