, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 256–274 | Cite as

Lacan and Political Subjectivity: Fantasy and Enjoyment in Psychoanalysis and Political Theory

  • Jason GlynosEmail author
  • Yannis Stavrakakis
Original Article


In this paper we explore and exploit the theoretical, empirical, and critical potential of subjectivity in political theory and psychoanalysis, suggesting that a turn to fantasy and enjoyment can help sharpen what is at stake in appeals to this concept. We indicate – in the first part – the way fantasy has already been invoked in the literature to enhance our understanding of organizational practices, in order to show – in the second part – how a Lacanian approach to “the subject of enjoyment” can supplement such accounts. We focus on three key themes linked directly to the concept of subjectivity. The first theme concerns how to think the relationship between political and ethical subjectivity. The second revolves around how fantasy and enjoyment allow us to rethink the relationship between reason and affect. The final theme explores how a logic of fantasy allows us to explore what has been called “the problem of self-transgression”.


Lacan subject fantasy enjoyment ethics politics 



This paper is based on a text presented at the 58th PSA Annual Conference, Swansea, 1–3 April 2008. We benefited from critical comments made during this presentation, but we also thank Calum Neill and Derek Hook – and the anonymous reviewers of Subjectivity – for their detailed comments and recommendations.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of EssexColchesterUK
  2. 2.Aristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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