Daniel Matthews

Daniel Matthews is Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong where he teaches and researches in law and literature and jurisprudence.

To Question Law, Without Condition

Following campaigns against pro-democracy and Occupy Central sympathisers at the University of Hong Kong, we must ask the old question: what are legal academics for?Take your time but be quick about it, because you do not know what awaits you (Jacques Derrida).1 The heady days of Occupy Central have passed. The 79 day occupation of…

Post-Modern Absurdities: Chomsky, Post-Structuralism and Science

‘Post-modern’ thinking, Chomsky suggests, is apolitical or divorced from the world. To the contrary, I argue such thinking politicises so many things that we too often take for granted.I like Noam Chomsky. I like how he can cut through the vagaries and distortions of much mainstream thought. I like how he always contextualises political events…

Declarations of Independence: Notes on the thought of Jacques Derrida

John Trumbull — Declaration Of independence

Key Concept Speaking in 1976 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville Derrida prefaced a lecture on Nietzsche with some remarks on The American Declaration of Independence. In this brief text — subsequently published in Negotiations (2002) as “Declarations of Independence” (hereafter “Declarations”) — Derrida assesses the status of “the people” as the sovereign guarantor of…

The Democracy To Come: Notes on the Thought of Jacques Derrida

Key Concept“The democracy to come” (la démocratie à venir) is perhaps the most enduring principle that emerges from Derrida’s later work. This difficult little syntagm is developed in a number of books, articles and interviews, most notably in Spectres of Marx (1993) and The Politics of Friendship (1994), finally given its fullest elaboration in Rogues:…

City Rogues

Vince Cable in yesterday’s Guardian accepted that the City is a ‘source of systemic instability, unfettered greed and industrial scale tax dodging’ but blamed the problem on a small number of rogue institutions. The task it seems is to find the “few rotten apples” that somehow manage to bring an entire system into disrepute. The…

The Derridian Performative & the Foundation of the Interim Transitional National Committee for Libya

In March of this year Jean-Luc Nancy published an article entitled “What the Arab Peoples Signify to Us” in the Libération newspaper. The article supported the NATO lead military intervention in Libya. Alain Badiou penned an acerbic response, claiming that Nancy had misread the situation in Libya entirely. The uprising in Libya was not at…