A psychoanalytic discussion of the intersections between politics, affect and emotion.
Authors: Yates, C.
Editors: Stavrakakis, Y.
Place of Publication: London and New York
Psychoanalytic theory can shed light on the seemingly irrational feelings or ‘affects’ that are rooted in the unconscious and which are stirred up in relation to political processes and events. Global socio-economic crises together with the mediatisation of party politics and its links to a celebrity-orientated promotional culture, have all contributed to the emotionalisation of contemporary politics. Its affective dynamics can be found in the populist content and style of the recent UK Brexit referendum, or in the 2016 US Presidential campaign. This chapter applies psychoanalytic understandings of affect to examples taken from those campaigns, where the emotive language of love, hate and desire have been used to court the electorate.