The Question of Political Responsibility and the Foundation of the National Transitional Council for Libya
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In March 2011 Jean-Luc Nancy published an article entitled ‘What the Arab Peoples Signify to Us’ in the Libération newspaper. The article supported the NATO-led military intervention in Libya that followed the anti-government protests of 15–16 February 2011. It is in the name of ‘political responsibility’ that Nancy makes his intervention. I want to explore the question of ‘political responsibility’ in light of Nancy’s work, and his Libération article in particular. I do this by first assessing one of the distinguishing features of the uprising in Libya: the emergence of the National Transitional Council (NTC). By setting Nancy’s response against Derrida’s work on spectrality and his critique of the founding declaration (in ‘Declarations of Independence’) we can more clearly appreciate the scope that Nancy’s account of responsibility entails. I suggest that Derrida’s logics of spectrality help not only critique Nancy’s response but also understand the conditions that make his account of political responsibility possible.
KeywordsArab Spring Jacques Derrida Jean-Luc Nancy Libya Political responsibility Spectrality
I would like to thank Costas Douzinas, Chris Lloyd, Illan rua Wall and Anastasia Tataryn for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this piece.
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