8. Force of Law: Resources in Derrida for Rethinking Policing

Discourses of Crisis and the Study of Religion - Lauren Horn Griffin

Karen Elizabeth Zoppa [+-]
University of Winnipeg
Karen Elizabeth Zoppa earned her PhD from the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba. Her research focuses on Critical Theory of Religion in relation to contemporary philosophy and literature. She teaches Humanities at the University of Winnipeg.


The current crisis in law enforcement is a crisis of faith, according to the critique of law/enforcement offered in Jacques Derrida's "Force of Law: The Mystical Foundations of Authority". His analysis of the filiation of law to enforcement argues that law is founded both in an inescapable violence and in an authority that is founded on nothing more than its credibility, that is to say, the faith granted to its inscriptions. In its current iteration, the law and its enforcement is founded upon a theory of justice that violates the integrity of the other, of "otherness" as such, in privileging an ideal person equal before a universalizable law. As well, the ubiquitous violence of language which founds and preserves the law contests the aim of eliminating racialized violence among those who would defund or even abolish the police with. On the other hand, Derrida offers a remedy to the aporia of the current crisis by recalling a different iteration of justice, one that places "the other" at its axis. The following analysis aims to offer a coherent structural critique of the current crisis.

Notify A Colleague


Zoppa, Karen Elizabeth. 8. Force of Law: Resources in Derrida for Rethinking Policing. Discourses of Crisis and the Study of Religion. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Oct 2024. ISBN 9781000000000. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=43938. Date accessed: 22 Sep 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.43938. Oct 2024

Dublin Core Metadata