The Politics of Derridean Deconstruction by Catherine Zuckert

Catherine Zuckert, “The Politics of Derridean Deconstruction” Polity 23.3 (Sprint 1991): 335-356.

The term “deconstruction,” according to one of its champions, Jacques Derrida, is more than merely a method for interpreting texts; it is a mode of political action as well, though it is not “political action” as that term is ordinarily understood. This article explores Derrida’s claim that the deconstruction of texts is essentially and emphatically a political act. It reviews the rationale for deconstruction as a way of reading texts and shows why this rationale leads Derrida to claim that deconstruction has political consequences–that it is a new way of constituting “the world.” The author goes on to assess what these political consequences actually are.