10 research outputs found

    Ideology as blocked mourning: Greek national identity in times of economic crisis and austerity

    Get PDF
    This article approaches the 2010-2014 economic crisis in Greece from the perspective of loss and mourning, critically exploring what questions and insights this provokes. We argue first that the rhetoric of mainstream political and media elites has been instrumental in framing responses to the Greek economic crisis in patriotic terms, a frame subsequently adopted by groups from across the entire political spectrum, whether part of the establishment or not. We then draw on discourse theory and psychoanalysis to argue that attachments to the dominant austerity and anti-austerity responses to the crisis can be understood-at least in part-in terms of a failure (or not) to properly articulate and thus mourn the nationalist-inflected loss associated with economic dislocation. We sketch out two ideological pathways in the discourses of austerity and anti-austerity, which we designate as symptomatic of ‘blocked mourning’: a melancholic pathway that seeks to contain loss through self-blame; and a pathway of ressentiment that seeks to contain loss by attributing its cause to a series of ‘others’. We argue that blocked mourning bears a direct relation to the ideological grip of the austerity and anti-austerity discourses, and that we can better appreciate the character and strength of their affective pull by drawing out the fantasmatic aspects of the narratives expressing Greek national and economic identity. Conversely, we argue that a critique of ideology can be understood in terms of the preconditions for mourning, whose satisfaction would make possible a less invested relation to the fantasmatic guarantees underpinning the austerity/ anti-austerity narratives. In this view, a critique of ideology proceeds by bringing to light those factors that could facilitate a more open and deliberative articulation of loss, so as to transform and pluralize collective responses to the economic crisis

    Paradoxes in the Management of Timebanks in the UK’s Voluntary Sector: Discursive Bricolage and its Limits

    Get PDF
    This paper contributes to our understanding of volunteer management by charting some important challenges associated with the governance of one of the UK’s largest timebanking networks. While timebanking is often treated as a form of volunteering, many timebank advocates are keen to distinguish it sharply from traditional volunteering. We suggest that this tension generates a fundamental ‘performance paradox’ in the management of timebanks in the voluntary sector. We draw on political discourse theory to characterise and evaluate associated challenges, suggesting that, when viewed against a host of context-specific organisational and policy pressures, the progressive potential of timebanking cannot be realised as a distinct community economy without adequate support. Instead of taking up a position alongside more traditional forms of volunteering, timebanking is more likely to be subsumed by them

    This radicalisation which is not one: contentious politics against the backdrop of the Greek crisis

    No full text
    Abstract: Since the eruption of the Greek economic crisis in 2010 and the introduction of austerity policies, Greece’s public space has become a theatre of intense political conflict in the form of social unrest, mass mobilisations, symbolic and physical clashes and political instability. This paper suggests that these developments can be understood in a productive way by drawing on a psychoanalytic understanding of loss and trauma. This framework can help us understand the transformation of a popular subject previously loyal to the political establishment into a disenchanted one, and also address the question of emotional intensities at play in this detachment. But in addition, psychoanalysis highlights the possibility of different responses to loss and the different ethical implications that these can have, which stands in contrast to accounts that see radicalisation as inherently dangerous. Far-right and left-wing responses are examined and characterised through this lens. The paper concludes that there are nuances in the left-wing responses that can meet the ethical criteria set by a psychoanalytic understanding of loss

    Anti-populism, Meritocracy, and (Technocratic) Elitism

    No full text
    Populism is typically accused of fuelling political polarisation. Yet, while the populist side of this polarisation has been at the centre of populism scholarship, the other side – the anti-populist camp – has been largely ignored. This chapter argues that studying anti-populism is essential for making fuller sense of populism, since the two are entangled in a type of dialectical relation. Anti-populism is understood as a distinct political discourse aimed at delegitimising challenges to the status quo, and has become a prominent feature of the rhetoric of western political and media elites, i.e., the traditional liberal centre. The chapter focuses on and critically discusses two core normative and ideological features of anti-populism, namely meritocracy and technocracy. Both principles underpin the distinction and growing disparities between elites and ‘the rest’; meritocracy by producing a hierarchy of worth, and technocracy by justifying the narrowing down of political participation by ordinary citizens

    Routledge Handbook of Psychoanalytic Political Theory

    No full text

    Valuation practices and the cooptation charge: Quantification and monetization as political logics

    No full text
    Market-like devices that enact quantification and monetization processes (QM) underpin a growing number of valuation practices, but the widespread take-up of QM has given rise to the ‘cooptation charge’: for all the good intentions and results produced by those who deploy QM, they are complicit in reinforcing problematic neoliberal tendencies. A political discourse-theoretical perspective, combined with a pragmatist scholarship that has made significant advances in our understanding of QM, suggests that the cooptation charge relies on an overly simplified picture of both QM and neoliberalism. However, while we acknowledge this as an important advance, we argue that the normative, political, and ideological significance of QM remains surprisingly underspecified. We still lack a convincing theoretical framework that provides a more rounded multi-dimensional critical perspective within which to navigate the evaluative dilemmas produced by these increasingly widespread techniques, including cooptation worries. Drawing on the logics approach of the Essex school of political discourse theory, we develop a framework that brings together the strategic, normative, and ideological dimensions that otherwise tend to be treated separately in the literature, allowing a fuller assessment of such technologies

    Reflections on grassroots healthcare provisioning in Greece in times of crisis

    No full text
    This chapter explores the discourses and repertoires of social movements and grassroots struggles that emerged as particular forms of response to the recent economic crisis in Greece. Our specific goal is to offer a snapshot of the novel practices of solidarity and democratic experimentation that constitute these responses, but also to highlight the broader transformative potential these practices carry. Going beyond their immediate character as ways of tackling the effects of the crisis, we argue that they should also be assessed as other ways forward, as Gibson-Graham put it, in terms of the ethical reimagining of social relations that they enable, as well as the partial bringing into life of these relations. We explore the actual enactment and embodiment of new rules and modes of social interaction seen to carving out a space for forms of social, political, and economic organization that are distinct from both the market and the state. We are doing this by taking as a case study the Metropolitan Community Health Clinic at Helliniko, a social solidarity clinic that was set up at the peak of the economic crisis in Athens. Experiments like the Metropolitan Community Health Clinic at Helliniko and other Social and Solidarity Clinics and Pharmacies that emerged within the crisis context, we argue, are attempts to expand democratic imagination and conceptions of social justice values in an area of key importance that was hit hard by the crisis, namely primary healthcare provision
    corecore