Remnants and Revenants: politics and violence in the work of Agamben and Derrida
127 - 144
The British Journal of Politics and International Relations
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Jacques Derrida and Giorgio Agamben both consider the question of whether there can be politics without violence, offering contrasting responses. In the case of Agamben, the remnant (that which remains) is disruptive and destabilising of present institutions; in the case of Derrida the revenant, the spectre, promises a future that is open. This reading of the two theories suggests that Derrida's response to the question of politics and violence is more persuasive than Agamben's. But the abstraction of his argument, like the tensions and contradictions in Agamben's, means that we are not hereby furnished with the resources to think politically about violence.