Nationalism and the Body Politic: Psychoanalysis and the Rise of Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia

Editor : Lene Auestad

Nationalism and the Body Politic: Psychoanalysis and the Rise of Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia

Book Details

Reviews and Endorsements

Nationalism and the Body Politic is a fine, timely collection that should be read by anyone concerned by the rise of nationalist and far-right politics in Europe and beyond. Offering numerous insights and frequent provocations to further thought, it brings together an impressive selection of topics and national contexts. Informed by a generous range of theoretical traditions, the book is also a model of open-minded critical dialogue. Above all, the collection is testament to the ongoing relevance of psychoanalytically informed political and social analysis – perhaps needed now more than ever.’
— Peter Redman, Editor of Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society

‘Psychoanalysis has traditionally eschewed discussing politics and neutrality has been held as the touchstone of its scientific respectability. Nonetheless, this is tantamount to a major gelding of psychoanalytic thought and an undue restriction of its impact on human life, both individual and collective. This fascinating collection of articles on the subject of psychoanalysis and politics, meticulously edited by Lene Auestad, is a major effort to redress this long-standing omission. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested and engaged in psychoanalysis, group analysis, social science, philosophy, or politics. It is definitely worth your while.’
— Juan Tubert-Oklander, training and supervising analyst at the Institute of the Mexican Psychoanalytic Association

‘This unique volume presents a selection of contemporary theoretical discussions of the recent revival of neo-nationalism, but reaching beyond the traditional political debates of the topic. The different contributions in the book offer new and fascinating perspectives by exploring the unconscious fantasies of neo-nationalist policies. As Adorno and Marcuse have already shown, xenophobia, racism, ethnocentrism, and prejudice are connected with deep-rooted emotions – with hatred, uncanny desires, anxieties, and overwhelming fears of annihilation. These emotions cannot be fought politically if it is not possible to understand them as expressions of unconscious and unresolved political conflicts within society. Therefore, this book is a most valuable and a much-needed contribution to a scientifically neglected issue that threatens Europe from within its own societies.’
— Elisabeth Rohr, Professor of Intercultural Education, Philipps-University Marburg, Germany; group analyst; counsellor of group therapy training projects in Guatemala and Ramallah

‘This book is an eye-opener for all of us. It addresses dramatic changes in the political and socio-economic climate of our time and calls for simultaneous testing of external and psychic reality. If we fail to grasp how external reality, history, and trauma shape our experience of the world, we miss a fundamental momentum in the process of understanding and elaboration.’
— Judit Szekacs-Weisz, psychoanalyst and co-editor of Sandor Ferenczi – Ernest Jones: Letters 1911–1933

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