Lippens, RLG (2018) Depth in 21st Century Cells?: European Salafi Jihadi Terrorism and Psychoanalysis in the Luciferian Age. New Criminal Law Review, 21 (4). pp. 592-614. ISSN 1933-4206

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The psychoanalytic interpretation of Salafi jihadism and terrorism, or the application of psychoanalytic categories to said issues, are not very common. Indeed the mobilisation of psychoanalysis in this context very often prompts accusations of orientalism and cultural imperialism. Both academic discourse and, to a lesser extent, policy, tend to ‘explain’, whether genuinely, strategically or tactically, or diplomatically, the emergence of “home grown” Salafism by pointing to social, welfare or educational deficits in the jihadists’ biographies. In this article we make an attempt to focus on psychoanalysis (or “depth psychology”, as it was sometimes called in a now bygone age) to shed light on the phenomenon. Taking cues from Jan Hendrik Van den Berg’s neo-Freudian and phenomenology inspired critique of classical psychoanalysis on the one hand, and Peter Sloterdijk’s recent work on bastardy on the other, we offer a reading of European home grown Salafi jihadist and terrorist inclination as reactions to failure, and as manifestations of a deep sense of inadequacy, in some of those who are unable to live up to what has become the predominant, imperative code in the cultural mainstream: to live one’s life in radical, complete and total sovereignty, undetermined and in absolute omnipotence. This code, and the exigencies which it imposes, we suggest, have become mainstream in the age which we have called Luciferian.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) will be available online via University of California Press at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Salafism, terrorism, psychoanalysis, Lucifer, Peter Sloterdijk, Jan Hendrik Van den Berg
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF173 Psychoanalysis
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV1 Criminology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV6431 Terrorism
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Science and Public Policy
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2018 09:46
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2018 12:24

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