The Psychosocial Imaginaries of Defence Nationalism interrogates the emergence of far-right nationalist 'defence leagues' in Australia and the UK. Throughout the book, Liam Gillespie refers to these groups as defence nationalists: that is, as nationalists who imagine themselves as defenders of the nation and therefore national subjects par excellence.
Drawing on original research, psychoanalytic and psychosocial theory―and particularly the work of Jacques Lacan―the author explores the narratives, imaginaries and subjectivities that sustain these groups, as well as the narratives, imaginaries and subjectivities these groups sustain. He argues that unlike other nationalist groups, defence nationalists are not primarily concerned with realising their avowed political projects. Instead, they are concerned with constructing and then enjoying themselves as the nation's self-ordained defenders. This means that which threatens the nation can paradoxically have a fortifying effect upon defence nationalists, legitimising and securing both the way they see themselves, and the position they see themselves occupying with/in the nation.
The Psychosocial Imaginaries of Defence Nationalism will be of interest to anyone concerned with critical theorisations of contemporary nationalism, as well as with the application of psychoanalytic and psychosocial theory to social, cultural and political analysis.