Biopolitics and deconstruction : Foucault-Derrida through the prism of power

Project: Research


My PhD research project aims at contributing to the elaboration of a new
vision of the relationship between Foucault-Derrida’s philosophies. Usually,
we tend to reduce their relation to their virulent debate about the status of
madness in the first metaphysical meditation. Few studies have tried to
considerer their relationship from another point of view. The recent
publication of the Derrida’s last two seminars (The beast and the sovereign)
allows looking at the Foucault-Derrida’s relationship from a completely new
angle. It offers the opportunity to carry out a comparative study of some
theses of Foucault and Derrida about the question of power. According to
Derrida, the fundamental themes of his last two seminars correspond to
those of Foucaldian biopolitics. It gives the opportunity to confront Foucault
and Derrida’s theses about those themes. First of all, Foucault and Derrida
refuse the theory of sovereignty as an explicative theory of power.
Secondly, regarding a new analytic model of power, Derrida interrogates the
status that Foucault confers to the bio-power. To put it more precisely, the
objet of Derrida’s interrogation is the relation of the living being to politics.
Finally, Derrida’s reflexions on the transformation of the war’s concept allow
pointing out some current limits of an analysis of power based on the war’s
paradigm. In attempt to reveal the critical dimension of those analyses, we
will study Foucault and Derrida’s critical positions by analysing to their
interpretation of the Enlightenment. This study will strengthen my renewed
interpretation of Foucault-Derrida’s relationship. I am convinced that this
confrontation between Foucault and Derrida over the question of power will
bring out the complexity of their relationship and, on the other hand, some
elements that could be used to build a specific approach to the problem of
Short titleBiopolitique et déconstruction
Effective start/end date1/10/1530/09/19