Workshop: Deconstruction as Method for Political Analysis

Alon Lischinsky alischinsky at
Mon Dec 16 17:30:05 UTC 2013

(With apologies for cross-posting.)

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Workshop: Deconstruction as Method for Political Analysis
Queen Mary, University of London

The course consists of a one-day workshop for research students and
young researchers. The aim of the workshop is to examine
deconstruction as a method for political analysis. We read examples of
deconstructive analyses by Jacques Derrida and discuss the
methodological implications of deconstruction as well as the
philosophical assumptions behind it. Deconstruction is often used in
literature, cultural studies and philosophy, but is little used as a
method for political analysis. The workshop examines the usefulness of
deconstruction for the study of politics not only by reading about
deconstruction, but also by seeing how it can be put to use in the
analysis of texts.

The workshop consists of three two-hour sessions led by Dr Lasse
Thomassen (Queen Mary, University of London). The three sessions are
organised around readings from Jacques Derrida, with each session
focusing on an example of a deconstructive reading while also
examining wider methodological issues arising from deconstruction.

The first session examines the question of method and relates it to a
piece by Derrida on the category of -the event'. To help think about
method and the event, we introduce the notion of iterability. In the
second session, we together deconstruct a text written by Habermas,
and co-signed by Derrida, on Europe. This session continues the
reflection on deconstructive concepts and deconstruction as a method
by looking at the logic of the example. The third session examines
Derrida's writings on hospitality as a way of reflecting on the
relationship to -the other', a theme already broached in the second
session. In this final session we look at the role played by the pair
conditional/unconditional in Derrida's rethinking of concepts like

At the end of the course, the participants will have knowledge of the
philosophical assumptions behind deconstruction, the implications of
deconstruction for questions surrounding the use of methods in the
social sciences and humanities, the politics of deconstruction, and
the use deconstruction for concrete political analysis.

Contact person: Dr Lasse Thomassen
email: l.thomassen at
Address: School of Politics & International Relations
Queen Mary, University of London
327 Mile End Road
London E14NS
United Kingdom
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