Islamism Revisited: A Lacanian Discourse Critique

Andrea Mura
Publication date: 
January 2014
Publication type: 
Journal article

The aim of this article is to highlight the relevance of Lacanian psychoanalysis for an understanding of Islamism, unfolding its discursive-ideological complexity. In an attempt to reply to Fethi Benslama’s recent exploration of the function of the father in Islam, I suggest that Benslama’s argument about the ‘delusional’ character of Islamism and the link he envisages between the emergence of Islamism and the crisis of ‘traditional’ authoritative systems, should be further investigated so as to avoid potential risks of essentialism. A different reading of Islamism is proposed, which valorizes ‘creative’ attempts by Islamist groups to re-organize the social imaginary within the realm of a symbolic economy, thereby positivising the desedimenting effects of the real in different ways. Notions such as capitonage, fantasy, desire, and jouissance are essential for us to understand how Islamist trajectories diversify as distinct discursive formations, thereby revealing the psychoanalytical significance of Islam as a master signifier.. 

Andrea Mura, (2014). Islamism Revisited: A Lacanian Discourse Critique. European Journal of Psychoanalysis, 2014, Winter (1), pp. 107-126.

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