Fear of Breakdown

Politics and Psychoanalysis

Serie: New Directions in Critical Theory 65

What is behind the upsurge of virulent nationalism and intransigent politics across the globe today? In Fear of Breakdown, Noelle McAfee uses psychoanalytic theory to explore the subterranean anxieties behind current crises and the ways in which democratic practices can help work through seemingly intractable political conflicts. Les mer
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Om boka

What is behind the upsurge of virulent nationalism and intransigent politics across the globe today? In Fear of Breakdown, Noelle McAfee uses psychoanalytic theory to explore the subterranean anxieties behind current crises and the ways in which democratic practices can help work through seemingly intractable political conflicts. Working at the intersection of psyche and society, McAfee draws on psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott's concept of the fear of breakdown to show how hypernationalism stems from unconscious anxieties over the origins of personal and social identities, giving rise to temptations to reify exclusionary phantasies of national origins.

Fear of Breakdown contends that politics needs something that only psychoanalysis has been able to offer: an understanding of how to work through anxieties, ambiguity, fragility, and loss in order to create a more democratic politics. Coupling robust psychoanalytic theory with concrete democratic practice, Fear of Breakdown shows how a politics of working through can help counter a politics of splitting, paranoia, and demonization. McAfee argues for a new approach to deliberative democratic theory, not the usual philosopher-sanctioned process of reason-giving but an affective process of making difficult choices, encountering others, and mourning what cannot be had.

Fakta

Innholdsfortegnelse

Acknowledgments
By Way of a Preface
Introduction
1. Defining Politics
2. Psychoanalysis and Political Theory
3. Politics and the Fear of Breakdown
4. Practicing Democracy
5. Democratic Imaginaries
6. Becoming Citizens
7. Definitions of the Situation
8. Deliberating Otherwise
9. Political Works of Mourning
10. Public Will and Action
11. Radical Imaginaries
12. Nationalism and the Fear of Breakdown
Conclusion: Working Through the Breakdown
Notes
References
Index

Om forfatteren

Noelle McAfee is a professor of philosophy and the director of the Psychoanalytic Studies Program at Emory University. Her books include Habermas, Kristeva, and Citizenship (2000), Julia Kristeva (2003), and Democracy and the Political Unconscious (Columbia, 2008).