Spatialisation and the Fomenting of Political Violence

  • Deborah L. S. WrightEmail author
Part of the Studies in the Psychosocial book series (STIP)


This chapter introduces a formulation of ‘spatialisation,’ which is here understood as a form of psychological projection that involves physically acting upon one’s environment. It means doing things with or to oneself, yet outside the self – in a landscape, in relation to a building and/or a person. Such mechanisms have not been well developed in psychoanalytic thinking, certainly not in relation to the study of political violence. The chapter looks at the psychoanalytic theory pertaining to the concept, in particular Freud’s theory of instincts and Klein’s theory of the splitting into good and bad, sacred and profane. In a further step, the chapter will give historically and culturally specific examples of spatialisation, looking at 1990s war-torn Serbia and 1940s NS-Germany.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic StudiesUniversity of EssexColchesterUK

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