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Constitutional Exposure: A Postulation for Democracy to Come

Dr Pablo Ghetti
Brazilian diplomat and former lecturer in law (University of Exeter)

This book addresses Jacques Derrida’s discourse on democracy to come with the purpose of identifying its main postulation and contributing to it. This task is accomplished in two discursive layers: first by interpreting Derrida’s postulation of democracy, and secondly by intensifying this call put forward by Derrida. In the first layer, Ghetti argues that Derrida’s key postulation, with regard to the discourse of ‘democracy to come’, lies in ‘constitutional exposure’—that is exposure of the ‘constitutional’ experience of law (exposure of orientating distinctions that underpin the democratic discourse: constitution–ruin, visibility–invisibility, friendship–enmity, universality–singularity). In Derrida’s work, Ghetti identifies an exposure of the image of transparency of the orientating grounds of democracy, which already happens as an aspect of democracy—exposure exposes its own limits. In his second discursive layer, Ghetti intensifies Derrida’s approach to democracy by transposing it to the strategies of addressing both law and the ‘to come’. Ghetti  identifies two obstacles to Derrida’s constitutional exposure: his understanding of juridical law [droit] and the ‘to come’ as opposed to justice and sovereignty, respectively. As in democracy per se, what is needed of law and ‘to come’ is insisting upon ‘their’ exposure. In this regard, Ghetti complicates his readings of law and ‘to come’, which are insufficient to challenge what can be called ‘underexposure’ (that is, constitutional exposure in a mode of social exploitation or exclusion). Through these two interrelated layers, Ghetti maintains that democracy ‘to come’ is a postulation that still has a ‘to come’, and that is insistence on enjoyment of exposure—finally an overexposure as a radical democratic postulation with and beyond Derrida (such a beyond is thought from within Derrida’s work, and his sources, but also through critical legal thought, radical democratic theory, post-Marxism and the philosophy of Jean-Luc Nancy). Such insistence thus favours a more equal and fuller enjoyment of democracy, of the exposed constitution of law and the crafting of various strategies and a vocabulary through which constitutional settings can be further studied, critiqued, and through which their true democratic core can be defended and enhanced.

Readership: students and researchers of political philosophy, jurisprudence, constitutional law, international legal theory, political theology and the history of ideas / Jacques Derrida scholars / Jean-Luc Nancy scholars / academics interested in Walter Benjamin, Carl Schmitt, Jürgen Habermas, Michel Villey, Ernesto Laclau, Claude Lefort, Chantal Mouffe, Etienne Balibar, Giorgio Agamben, post-Marxism, post-positivism, agonistic politics, deliberative democracy, counter-hegemonic thinking,  critical legal theory, and radical social change/ philosophically inclined practitioners of law, politics and religion.

Expected spring 2017 (Notify when available)

Cover image subject to change.