The Spoils of Freedom examines the emergence of nationalist, racist and anti-feminist ideologies in post-socialist Eastern Europe. In a political context that includes ethnic wars, post-socialist totalitarianism, capitalist moral majority ideologies, and a virulent new patriarchy, this provocative study asks what has become of the notions of democracy and human rights since the collapse of socialism and challenges the 'political correctness' movement and western theoretical responses to the events which have occurred in former Communist countries The Spoils of Freedom views major social and political change through contemporary theory. Using psychoanalitic, post-structuralist and feminist theories, Renata Salecl argues that the success of the new nationalist and anti-liberal ideologies can be understood through the concept of fantasy, and the willingness of individuals to identify with the hidden fantasies embedded in political discourse. In doing so she offers a new approach to human rights, feminism and other liberal theories grounded in her own active participation in the struggles against communism, nationalism and anti-feminism.
Renata Salecl is a philosopher and sociologist. She works as a researcher in the Department of Law at the Institute of Criminology, Ljubljana, Slovenia and has published widely in the areas of feminism, psychoanalysis and political theory. She is also a visiting scholar at the Gender Studies Program, New School for Social Research, New York.
"This is not the academy's Lacan; it is Lacan raised to the level of the political. . . . Renata Salecl has in this excellent book managed to make psychoanalysis fully responsive to the chaotic events of the moment, to issues of feminism, human rights, and war, as they have been refigured by socialism's demise. The debates surrounding these issues will undoubtedly be transformed by her substantial and timely intervention."
-Joan Copjec, University of Buffalo
""The Spoils of Freedom presents the difficulties of post-socialist Eastern Europe as a symptom in which the inherent contradictions of liberal democracy become visible. An important merit of this thought-provoking reflection is to make us aware of the shortcomings of a liberal theory predicated upon the exclusion of fantasy."
-Chantal Mouffe, College International de Philosophie
"Renata Salecl's study brings unique understanding to the virulent nationalisms and their use of racist and patriarchal initiatives. She explains, rather than avoids, the psychic realities that permit the present horrors of ex-Yugoslavia."
-Zillah Eisenstein, Ithaca College
"Salecl explores the collapse of socialism, along with new meanings of feminism and democracy following the events in Eastern Europe."
Tertiary; University or College
For Ages: 18 years old
Number Of Pages: 176
Published: 31st July 1994
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.32 x 16.1
Weight (kg): 0.29
Edition Number: 1