Mandelbaum, MM (2020) ‘Making Our Country Great Again’: The Politics of Subjectivity in an Age of National-Populism. International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridique, 35. pp. 451-476. ISSN 0952-8059

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How could we understand the emotive power of national-populist discourses, indeed the calls to ‘make our country great again’? This paper directly tackles the recent Brexit discourse, within the broader context of rising national-populist sentiments. I offer a novel way of reading national-populism and the politics of subjectivity as I put forth a Lacanian-psychoanalytical framework, namely the void at the heart of national-populism narratives and thus their ability to produce and hail national-populist subjectivities, particularly through ‘fantasy’, ‘jouissance’ and the promise to recapture loss. I suggest that national-populism discourses appeal emotively and thus interpellate, at least partially, their subjects by offering unity and a ‘fullness to come’, the promise of filling the void, the promise of full jouissance. Since such national closure and unity are unattainable national-populism discourses must appeal to lost golden eras of greatness and by rendering the Other the cause of their failure.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the final published version (version of record). It was first published online via Springer at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nationalism; Populism; Brexit; Desire; Fantasy; The Other
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2020 08:36
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2020 09:55

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