1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalytic Political Theory

Edited By Yannis Stavrakakis Copyright 2020
    482 Pages
    by Routledge

    482 Pages
    by Routledge

    The emerging field of ‘psychoanalytic political theory’ has now reached a stage in its development and rapid evolution that deserves to be registered, systematically defined and critically evaluated. This Handbook provides the first reference volume which showcases the current state of psychoanalytic political theory, maps the genealogy of its development, identifies its conceptual and methodological resources and highlights its analytical innovations as well as its critical promise. The Handbook consists of 35 chapters offering original, comprehensive and critical reviews of this field of study. The chapters are divided into five thematic sections:

    • Figures discusses the work of major psychoanalytic theorists who have influenced considerably the development of psychoanalytic political theory.
    • Traditions genealogically recounts and critically reassesses the many attempts throughout the 20th century of experimenting with the articulation between psychoanalysis and political theory in a consistent way.
    • Concepts asks what are the concepts that psychoanalysis offers for appropriation by political theory.
    • Themes presents concrete examples of the ways in which psychoanalytic political theory can be productively applied in the analysis of racism, gender, nationalism, consumerism, etc.
    • Challenges/Controversies captures the ways in which psychoanalytic political theory can lead the way towards theoretical and analytical innovation in many disciplinary fields dealing with cutting-edge issues.

    The Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalytic Political Theory will serve as scholarly reference volume for all students and researchers studying political theory, psychoanalysis, and the history of ideas.


    Yannis Stavrakakis


    1. Sigmund Freud

    Stephen Frosh

    2. Melanie Klein

    R. D. Hinshelwood

    3. Jacques Lacan

    Domiek Hoens

    4. Wilhelm Reich

    Christopher Turner

    5. Carl Jung

    Peter T. Dunlap


    6. Marcuse and the Freudian Left

    Douglas Kellner

    7. The Lacanian Left

    Sean Homer

    8. Psychoanalytic Feminism

    Lisa Baraitser

    9. Critical Management Studies

    Alessia Contu


    10. Superego and the Law

    Todd McGowan

    11. (Liberal) Narcissism

    Bob Samuels

    12. Affect and Emotion

    Candida Yates

    13. Trauma

    Marshal Alcorn

    14. Fantasy

    Matthew Sharpe and Kirk Turner

    15. Identification (With the Aggressor)

    Jay Frankel

    16. Mourning and Melancholia

    Claudia Lapping

    17. Language and Discourse

    Ed Pluth

    18. Collective Subjects

    Campbell Jones


    19. Sexuality

    Eran Dorfman

    20. Hate

    C. Fred Alford

    21. Racism

    Derek Hook

    22. Nationalism

    Amanda Machin

    23. Capitalism

    Samo Tomsic

    24. Consumerism and Choice

    Renata Salecl

    25. Religion and Islamic Radicalization

    Andrea Mura

    26. Populism

    Paula Biglieri and Gloria Perello

    27. Arts

    Cecilia Sjoholm


    28. Psychoanalytic Geopolitics

    Dany Nobus

    29. Psy Ethics

    Ian Parker

    30. Neoliberalism

    Valerie Walkerdine

    31. Migration and Diversity

    Nikolay Mintchev and Hernrietta Moore

    32. Biopolitics

    A. Kiarina Kordela

    33. The Climate Crisis

    Sally Weintrobe

    34. Post-politics

    Olivier Jutel

    35. Posthuman Identities

    Anthony Elliott


    Yannis Stavrakakis studied political science in Athens and Essex. He has worked at the Universities of Essex and Nottingham before taking up a position at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2006. His research focuses primarily on contemporary political theory (with emphasis on psychoanalytic and post-structuralist approaches) and on the analysis of ideology and discourse in late modern societies (with emphasis on populism, environmentalism, post-democracy and the role of artistic practices).

    Editorial Board: Stephen Frosh, Lynne Layton, and Dany Nobus

    "The Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalytic Political Theory introduces the reader into a new but rapidly growing field in the social sciences. It provides key texts by well known scholars on the ways in which psychoanalytic theory and practice have an impact on the political order. The editor Yannis Stavrakakis provides an illuminating and extensive introduction which explains the general organization and the basic themes and controversies. There is no doubt that the book will be a vital tool for those who want to explore and develop further the variety of theoretical/conceptual frameworks that the volume provides. It will also be useful to researchers who want to study empirically the influence of psychoanalytic approaches to themes and controversies in the areas of feminism, nationalism, consumerism, populism, etc."

    Nicos Mouzelis, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics, UK

    "Far from simply serviceable and convenient, this Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalytic Political Theory is handy in the robust, Chaucerian sense. Intellectually challenging and urgent, it explains the crucial, updated psychoanalytical concepts now impacting political theory, while providing a clear account of the various ways in which psychoanalysis and political theory related to each other previously. While the interventions of Freud and Lacan are, rightly, privileged, other formidable psychoanalytic figures also receive fresh attention. This is a volume that will be treasured."

    Joan Copjec, Professor of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University, USA

    "A must-read Handbook featuring a mix of established, mid- and early-career scholars working at the crossroads of psychoanalytic thought and socio-political theory. Covering an impressive range of themes, concepts, and issues, Stavrakakis and his team have assembled timely contributions that demonstrate the enduringly dynamic and productive interplay between these disciplines. Surely a work of reference for years to come!"

    Jason Glynos, Professor of Political Theory, University of Essex, UK

    "While we may be at a particular bleak moment in time, the Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalytic Political Theory provides an important and foundational volume for scholars, students and activists who wish to understand and apply the different concepts and debates that different schools within psychoanalysis can offer. The thought that psychoanalysis is alive and well in some political scholarship may perhaps provide us with some joy and hope."


    "[W]hat is remarkable, and indeed distinctive, about this collection, is that it carves out a space for psychoanalytic political theory as a specific orientation in political studies. This is a thought provoking, and, as I will suggest, significant endeavour for any theorist dissatisfied with the many iterations of liberal political theory."

    Contemporary Political Theory