ABSTRACT

Post-structural discourse theory has so far been strongly associated with the methodology of deconstruction. Laclau (1996a: 90) observes, for instance, that while the post-structural discourse theory provides an epistemic perspective that emphasizes the historically “contingent character” of discourse and “the role of the decision [caused by] . . . the undecidability of the structure,” deconstruction aims at manifesting “the moment of decision that underlies any sedimented set of social relations” (Laclau 1996a: 78; cf. Åkerstrøm Andersen 2003: 58). Without intending to delve too far into the diff erences between Foucault’s genealogical analysis and Derrida’s deconstruction, they can be claimed to have in common the analytical interest to manifest the historical origins and conditions of possibility of later social formations. However, where Foucault’s analytical interest seems to have been focussed on the interplay of historical discursive continuities and discontinuities (Foucault 1977), deconstruction is obviously keener on achieving persistent reversal and problematization of any social objectivity.