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Clough, P. Nandy, A. Vanier, A. (2010). Roundtable Discussion 1, March 31, 2007. Psychoanal. Rev., 97(2):285-301.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Review, 97(2):285-301

Roundtable Discussion 1, March 31, 2007

Patricia Clough, Ph.D., Ashis Nandy and Alain Vanier, M.D.

Moderated by:
Paola Mieli, Ph.D.

Paola Mieli: Thank you very much for being here today. A special thanks to Alan Roland for having the idea of creating this Conference and gathering together an interdisciplinary group of people to discuss the issue of the political manipulation of fear and paranoid anxiety.

The goal of this Conference is to create a forum for the exchange of different views on this topic, in order for scholars from different disciplines to contribute to today's discussion with their own particular tools and to approach together, from multiple perspectives, the manner in which the political manipulation of fear affects us as citizens and as subjects.

The title of our Conference is complex: Politics and Paranoia and the Issue of the Political Manipulation of Paranoid Anxiety. As a starting point for this morning's roundtable, it would be worthy to define this terminology. During last night's presentations, all speakers agreed on the fact that paranoid ideations are structurally part of every human being, yet each speaker gave a different definition of paranoia. Dr. Britton referred to the paranoid position as it is defined by the Kleinian tradition, constitutive of the ego and subjectivity. Dr. Vanier spoke of paranoia as a way of protecting from fear, as one of the solutions against fear. Professor Clough pointed out that fear is the aspect that characterizes our contemporary times—not paranoia.

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