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Interpellation and the Politics of Belonging: A Psychoanalytical Framework

Mandelbaum, Moran M



Interpellation, the production and hailing of subjectivities, is key to poststructuralist international relations (IR) theory and yet with some notable exceptions interpellation/hailing as an analytical concept remains somewhat undertheorized. This paper presents a Lacanian–Žižekian psychoanalytical theorization of interpellation in IR, while engaging with the ontology and epistemology of belonging. More specifically, this paper develops four major psychoanalytical concepts: void/lack, fantasy, jouissance, and desire, as it argues that void/lack at the subjective and objective levels renders interpellation possible and destabilises it, thus accounting for the im/possibility of belonging. This paper illustrates the psychoanalytical framework of interpellation by analyzing national-populism as manifested in the Brexit discourse in the UK as well as the interpellation in homonationalism.


Mandelbaum, M. M. (2023). Interpellation and the Politics of Belonging: A Psychoanalytical Framework. International Studies Quarterly, 67(3),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 2, 2023
Online Publication Date Jul 25, 2023
Publication Date Jun 14, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jun 15, 2025
Journal International Studies Quarterly
Print ISSN 1468-2478
Electronic ISSN 1468-2478
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 67
Issue 3
Keywords Political Science and International Relations, Sociology and Political Science