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Misrecognition and the Indian State: The Desire for Sovereign Agency

Kinnvall, Catarina LU and Svensson, Ted LU (2018) In Review of International Studies 44(5). p.902-921
Abstract
A focus on misrecognition allows us to move between levels of analysis in a holistic fashion. If misrecognition works through the conscious and the unconscious we can account for the many overlapping insecurities and securities believed to exist at the individual, group, or state level – and thus felt. These insecurities also present themselves through the categories used to describe them and the policies through which they become materialised, technologised, and depoliticised, often by closing down discursive boundaries. Lacan’s concepts of desire, real and lack are here important for understanding the impossibility of recognising something that cannot be recognised. Hence, a perspective that takes misrecognition not as an end result or... (More)
A focus on misrecognition allows us to move between levels of analysis in a holistic fashion. If misrecognition works through the conscious and the unconscious we can account for the many overlapping insecurities and securities believed to exist at the individual, group, or state level – and thus felt. These insecurities also present themselves through the categories used to describe them and the policies through which they become materialised, technologised, and depoliticised, often by closing down discursive boundaries. Lacan’s concepts of desire, real and lack are here important for understanding the impossibility of recognising something that cannot be recognised. Hence, a perspective that takes misrecognition not as an end result or as failed attempts to reformulate the exceptional as the normal, has the potential to rethink the political subject. In empirical terms, the article discusses how this process of misrecognition has been shaped in the Indian context of postcolonial state formation and articulations of sovereignty. We show how the Indian state is being rethought, restructured, and reimagined through Hindu nationalism and how the concept of misrecognition accounts for desires for sovereign agency and group cohesiveness, but also for resistance to various reimaginations of the Indian state. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
misrecognition, sovereignty, security, psychoanalysis, India
in
Review of International Studies
volume
44
issue
5
pages
20 pages
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85057049773
ISSN
1469-9044
DOI
10.1017/S0260210518000311
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
57df7db5-4b8c-4860-8ef1-d77f1dd2f504
date added to LUP
2018-11-20 13:50:04
date last changed
2019-02-20 11:36:59
@article{57df7db5-4b8c-4860-8ef1-d77f1dd2f504,
  abstract     = {A focus on misrecognition allows us to move between levels of analysis in a holistic fashion. If misrecognition works through the conscious and the unconscious we can account for the many overlapping insecurities and securities believed to exist at the individual, group, or state level – and thus felt. These insecurities also present themselves through the categories used to describe them and the policies through which they become materialised, technologised, and depoliticised, often by closing down discursive boundaries. Lacan’s concepts of desire, real and lack are here important for understanding the impossibility of recognising something that cannot be recognised. Hence, a perspective that takes misrecognition not as an end result or as failed attempts to reformulate the exceptional as the normal, has the potential to rethink the political subject. In empirical terms, the article discusses how this process of misrecognition has been shaped in the Indian context of postcolonial state formation and articulations of sovereignty. We show how the Indian state is being rethought, restructured, and reimagined through Hindu nationalism and how the concept of misrecognition accounts for desires for sovereign agency and group cohesiveness, but also for resistance to various reimaginations of the Indian state.},
  author       = {Kinnvall, Catarina and Svensson, Ted},
  issn         = {1469-9044},
  keyword      = {misrecognition,sovereignty,security,psychoanalysis,India},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {902--921},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {Review of International Studies},
  title        = {Misrecognition and the Indian State: The Desire for Sovereign Agency},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0260210518000311},
  volume       = {44},
  year         = {2018},
}