Europe after Derrida

Europe after Derrida: Crisis and Potentiality

Agnes Czajka
Bora Isyar
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Europe after Derrida
    Book Description:

    Is Europe’s crisis merely a financial one? Tackling issues ranging from Europe’s legal, institutional and cultural identity to its border, citizenship and integration policies, and looking forward to its legacy for the future, the contributors to this volume interrogate the various dimensions and contours of the European crisis. By revisiting Derrida’s diagnosis of the crisis of European identity, they simultaneously propose a new direction for Europe, and an alternative response to today’s crisis.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-8337-6
    Subjects: Philosophy, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Notes on the Contributors
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Introduction: What Will Become of Europe?
    (pp. 1-8)
    Agnes Czajka and Bora Isyar

    Since 2008, and for reasons dating back to at least the turn of the millennium, sizeable sections of the globe have been repeatedly hit by the aftershocks of a polytypic crisis. Christened ‘the great recession’ by economic analysts (Rampell 2009), ‘the lesser depression’ by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman (Krugman 2011), and ‘the long recession’ by financial institutions led by the International Monetary Fund, the longevity of the crisis has defied expectations. In Europe, the crisis presented as the sovereign debt crisis (also referred to as the eurozone crisis), which made it difficult, if not impossible, for certain eurozone member states...

  6. Chapter 1 Mind the ‘Cap’
    (pp. 9-29)
    Samuel Weber

    Prefatory Note:This chapter started out as an interview, a discussion with the editors of this volume. But after receiving the editors’ initial questions and trying to respond to them, it soon became clear that to address them, as well as the more general question of ‘Europe after Derrida’, it would first be necessary to discuss just what ‘Europe’ was for Derrida. This in turn required unpacking, in some detail, the major essay he devoted to Europe, namelyThe Other Heading(L’Autre cap). Although on the surface relatively straightforward, that essay turns out to be extremely intricate in the tissue...

  7. Chapter 2 Derrida’s Europe: ‘Greek, Christian and Beyond’
    (pp. 30-48)
    Simon Glendinning

    How, if at all, should we conceive the cultural identity of the cultural region that we call ‘Europe’? An observation that is frequently made about Europe’s cultural identity is that it is the bearer of more than one heritage:from the start everything European is hybrid. This originary ‘heritage of more than one heritage’ has been variously conceived, but more often than not it has been framed in terms of the idea that, as the Lithuanian-born naturalised French philosopher and Talmudic scholar Emmanuel Levinas puts it, ‘Europe is the Bible and the Greeks’ (Levinas 2001: 182). In the 1860s the...

  8. Chapter 3 A Roman Europe of Hope: Reading Derrida with Brague
    (pp. 49-60)
    Bora Isyar

    These questions, posed by Jacques Derrida and Rémi Brague around the same time (1991 and 1992 respectively), lead the two thinkers to problematise what it means to be European, to belong to Europe, and what the name ‘Europe’ signifies. Avoiding essentialisation of all sorts, both Derrida and Brague aim to disclose what (if any) hope the name and singular entity that is called Europe carries for being political today. This chapter attempts to selectively read these two thinkers together to precipitate what Alan Milchman and Alan Rosenberg have called anAuseinandersetzung– a critical encounter that does not aim at an...

  9. Chapter 4 Other Shores: Insularity, Materiality and the Making (and Unmaking) of ‘Europe’
    (pp. 61-79)
    Stuart McLean

    Today is . . . 1926. A precarious peace ratified seven years previously at Versailles. A newly ascendant United States. A not-yet-rearming Germany. Black Tuesday and the ensuing Great Depression still three years in the future. A distinguished poet and essayist (what used to be called a ‘man of letters’), newly elected to the Académie Française, representative of his country on cultural matters to the League of Nations, sits down to reflect upon the state of his native Europe after more than a decade of geopolitical upheaval. Surveying what he sees as the stagnation of contemporary European politics, he asks...

  10. Chapter 5 Europe’s Constitution for the Unborn
    (pp. 80-94)
    Matthias Fritsch

    In this chapter I will draw out what Derrida’s work – in particular as it concerns law, democracy and intergenerational justice in the context of European heritage – can contribute to constitutionalism and law in relation to future people, at the national and supranational levels of the European Union. In its first section, the chapter will outline some of Derrida’s contributions to legal scholarship and European identity, and then, in the following two sections, argue for two main points. First, Derrida can help us understand the much-discussed constitutional double bind with regard to future people as merely an instance of a more...

  11. Chapter 6 The Borders of Contemporary Europe: Territory, Justice and Rights
    (pp. 95-107)
    Tracey Skillington

    This chapter explores how border practices within Europe today have become the centrepiece of a much-politicised debate on where the parameters of Europe, as both a territorial entity and a cultural project of belonging, ought to begin and end. In particular, the chapter will assess how universally applicable rights, including rights to free movement and safe haven or asylum, are interpreted through this dialogue as secondary to the territorial privileges and vetoing powers of Europe’s self-determining sovereignties. Defined in its most general terms, this is a dialogue aimed at restricting entry to, appropriation of, or control over the spaces of...

  12. Chapter 7 We, the Non-Europeans: Derrida with Said
    (pp. 108-119)
    Engin F. Isin

    If in fact the crisis of Europe is more fundamental than the current crisis that engulfs it, then how do we diagnose that fundamental crisis? How do we address the question ‘What is called Europe?’? The question is made even more challenging when we further ask what the referent ‘Europe’ refers to and what the forces are that use that referent. When, in May 1990, Derrida delivered his lecture on ‘the other heading’ during a colloquium in Turin on European cultural identity he was in many ways responding to these questions and outlining possible ways of approaching them. But Derrida’s...

  13. Chapter 8 Of Europe: Zionism and the Jewish Other
    (pp. 120-133)
    Sherene Seikaly and Max Ajl

    InThe Other Heading, Jacques Derrida reflects on Europe as both possibility and danger. He poses the idea of Europe as at once ‘old’ and ‘virgin’ (Derrida 1992: 5). For Derrida, the question of Europe, as the home and origin of philosophy in particular, belongs to the past, but is also perpetually recurring (Chakrabarty 2000). Because of the danger of what Europe is and has been, and the promise of what it can become, Derrida wrote, ‘We are younger than ever, we Europeans, since a certain Europe does not yet exist’ (1992: 7). For him, the hope of a Europe-tocome...

  14. Chapter 9 The European Ideal in the Face of the Muslim Other
    (pp. 134-148)
    Zeynep Direk

    In bothOrigin of Geometry(1989) andVoice and Phenomenon(2011b), Jacques Derrida noted that a philosophical idea of Europe, as responsibility for knowledge, played a constitutive role in phenomenology as a form of transcendental philosophy. InThe Other Heading, he undertook to think of Europe as an ethico-political ideal, as a relation with alterity, both within and outside Europe. Through a critical encounter with the Kantian ideas of cosmopolitanism and hospitality, Derrida then inquired into the possibility of Europe as the name for ‘democracy to come’. This chapter focuses on the relationship between Europe and Turkey as the Muslim...

  15. Chapter 10 Christianity, Secularism and the Crisis of Europe
    (pp. 149-162)
    Ian Anthony Morrison

    As Derrida suggests in the opening pages ofThe Other Heading, the question of Europe is both ‘a question that will always be of current interest’ (Derrida 1992: 4–5) and the product of the pressure exerted by a particular imminence. The question of what is Europe and the response to it always refer both to the ever present (the essential Europe) and to the particular or contingent (Europe as it is, that which is ‘afoot in Europe’) (Derrida 1992: 5), and demand a conciliation of the two. In the two decades since the publication of Derrida’s text, the question...

  16. Index
    (pp. 163-172)