Fear, Sovereignty, and the Right to Die
AbstractThis paper addresses the “right to die” through the lens of Derrida’s The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume One . Specifically focusing on the case of Tony Nicklinson v. Ministry of Justice, 2012, the essay posits two things. First, Derrida’s insight helps us understand how a “fear of death” is a fundamental performative feature of sovereignty politics. Second, in order to maintain its performative role, sovereignty must perpetuate the belief that “man is wolf to man.” I argue that, in right-to-die cases, this has the effect of precluding compassionate reasons for taking the life of another. Thus, I posit that these two points, in part, explain how right-to-die cases fail on appeal. All is not lost, however, as this essay advances Derrida’s position that these performative workings of sovereignty, which currently preclude the right to die, are entirely deconstructable. As such, exploring how right-to-die cases are articulated in law permits a deconstruction of sovereignty politics and allows us to open up other ways of thinking about the relation between sovereignty, life, death, and our relationships with “others”.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Societies.
Volume (Year): 3 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/
Derrida; Hobbes; sovereignty; right to die; biopolitics; compassion;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
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- P - Economic Systems
- P0 - Economic Systems - - General
- P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
- P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
- P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
- P4 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems
- P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
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