ICCS Seminar Series: 'Trauma and the Politics of Fear: Europe at the Crossroads'

Muirhead Tower, room 420
Monday 9th December 2013 (17:00-18:30)

R.S.V.P. to Leigh-Ann Cragg: l.knowles@bham.ac.uk

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Trauma and the Politics of Fear: Europe at the Crossroads

Professor Catarina Kinnvall

Lund University

Monday 9th

December 2013, 5-6.30pm

Room 420 Muirhead Tower


This paper is concerned with the unfolding of traumas as structural and socio-psychological narratives focused on the bordering of identity and the governing of past, present and future. Proceeding from a Lacanian conception of trauma and fear, the paper is centered on hegemonic counter narratives, involving the bordering and securitization of Islam and Muslim identity on the one hand and that of Europe and national identity on the other. This European trauma is perceived in terms of Chosen Traumas and Chosen Glories, referring to the mythologization and governing of past events and the evolvement of emotional instrumentality. Through an empirical discussion of a number of recent European events, such as the London bombings and the massacre in Norway, the paper provides an integrated perspective on trauma and the politics of fear.

This paper has just been published in Demertzis, Nicolas (2013) Emotions in Politics: The affect dimension in political tension (Basingstoke: Palgrave).


Catarina Kinnvall is Professor at the Department of Political Science, Lund University, Sweden. She is also the former Vice-President of the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP). Her research interests involve political psychology, migration and security, globalization, religion and nationalism, with a particular focus on South Asia and Europe. She is the author of a number of books and articles. Some of her publications include: The Political Psychology of Globalization: Muslims in the West (Oxford UP 2011); On Behalf of Others: The Psychology of Care in a Global World (co-ed. Oxford UP 2009): Globalization and Religious Nationalism in India: The Search for Ontological Security (Routledge 2006) and Globalization and Democratization in Asia: The Construction of Identity (co-ed. Routledge 2002).