It is precisely because Lacaniantheory places aggression
and rivalry at the heart of human relations that it offers important
insights into the management of conflict. However, far from presenting a
dark view of humankind, it offers hope, if not happiness. Lacanian
analysis explains why domination and dependence are part of identity
construction and demonstrates how bringing the unconscious
resolution. This is what follows from the
‘splitness’ of subjectivity.
Our splitness in the world drives a quest for an
impossible state of unity. As Jeanne Schroeder neatly explains,
‘it is easy to presume that the reason we feel lacking is that we
lack some thing ’ ( 2003 ). Desire,
in Lacaniantheory, revolves around a fantasy about a
‘thing’ that will resolve the lack. The
. (Robert Young, ‘What
does psychoanalysis have to offer to newly democratising
countries?’ www.human-nature.com ). Psychoanalytic works on politics
include writings by Žižek, Stavrakakis, Althusser, Elliott
and Jameson, as well as seminal work by Adorno and Marcuse, and
adaptations of Lacaniantheory by Laclau and Mouffe.
intra-community contact would need to be encouraged and developed.
Perhaps school-based programmes for change would need to be developed
based on results of the research. People need to become more aware of
their rationalisations. Differences that are oppositional can only be
desensitised in this way.
Through further academic research, further exploration of
Lacaniantheory, specialised training of small
. Lederach notes that ‘[c]onflict is born in the
world of human meaning and perception’, 16 which tells us that language has
everything to do with conflict and that Lacaniantheory, which views the
unconscious as being structured like language, can help us deal with
this. Participants to a conflict must do more than analyse the situation
or try to understand the other.
themselves in Northern Ireland. However, her analysis of Northern
Protestant identity presented in the epilogue shows once again the
weakness of the journalistic approach that relies heavily on psychology.
Below, I examine the author’s analysis of Protestant identity,
give examples of the major themes of the Protestant self-interpretation,
and, finally, demonstrate how the application of Lacaniantheory would
Lacaniantheory on the construction of identity.
The present research differs radically from the work of
McGarry and O’Leary. The latter assume that the two communities in
Northern Ireland work out of their historical worldview in a predictable
and coherent way whereas it is my belief that an agreed interpretation
of the Northern Ireland conflict, let alone the validity of this
worldview, is not something