The workshop 'Hypertrophies of Citizenship: The Nation-State and the Political Style of Paranoia' by Andrea Mura was held on 8th November 2013 as part of Oecumene’s Fourth Symposium.
Over the last years, new barriers have been raised, which signal the difficult attempts of the nation-state to preserve its territorial and political integrity in a globalised world. A reference to the clinical figure of paranoia in this workshop will help to expose the defensive strategy at work here, uncovering the immunising character of national walling and resurgent forms of nationalist populism in Europe. Besides pointing to the political workings of paranoia in the contemporary critical predicament, the essay also contends that a paranoid trait underpins the very articulation of the nation-state discourse in Europe, informing the innermost logic upon which national citizenship has been constructed since its very inception. By highlighting the spatial and imaginary dimension of paranoia, and the constitutive function that paranoia performs in ego formation, the essay highlights an inherent national tension between a principle of integrity and the effects of a dualist organisation of space. The conceptual distinction between ‘border’ and ‘frontier’ will help to unveil different modalities of constructing the problematic relation with the outside.
Discussants of the workshop: