Revisioning Psychology and Deglobalization: The case of Brexit

Stenner, Paul and Andreouli, Eleni (2022). Revisioning Psychology and Deglobalization: The case of Brexit. Theory and Psychology (in press).

Abstract

This paper approaches the theme of the psychology of de/globalization by taking up the example of Brexit as an historical conjuncture which hinges upon troublesome questions of sovereignty. Operating at the interface between history and psychology, and informed by liminality scholarship, the paper offers a broad genealogical sketch of three mutations in the semantics of sovereignty as a mode of power which implicates subjectivity. Theological (premodern), nationalist (modern) and neoliberal/economic (postmodern) variants share the mythical motif of absolute autonomy. An account of globalization as the spatial spread of the events of an initially partial process across the whole of a global field offers a view of the psychological as a subjective field of intelligibility shaped by societal and political settings. Drawing upon data from a focus group study conducted just before the 2016 referendum, attention is given to the resurgence of the theme of sovereignty amongst ordinary people.

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