Islamism Revisited: A Lacanian Discourse Critique

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The aim of this article is to highlight the relevance of Lacanian psychoanaly-sis for an understanding of Islamism, unfolding its discursive-ideological complexity. Inan attempt to reply to Fethi Benslama’s recent exploration of the function of the fatherin Islam, I suggest that Benslama’s argument about the ‘delusional’ character of Islamismand the link he envisages between the emergence of Islamism and the crisis of ‘tradi-tional’ authoritative systems, should be further investigated so as to avoid potential risksof 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 sym-bolic 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 under-stand how Islamist trajectories diversify as distinct discursive formations, thereby reveal-ing the psychoanalytical significance of Islam as a master signifier.
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Archival date: 2016-09-05
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