Problematizing hatred in democratic states

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter develops the argument that hatred is motivated by the fear of love. It is thus important to understand not only what hatred says but also what it denies and hides. Based on Freudian/Lacanian theory and sociological constructionism, I argue that hatred represents an assemblage of conscious and unconscious motives. The chapter particularly underscores the dread of the other in proximity (immigrants, refugees, minority others), who is like me yet not me, whom I desire and loathe simultaneously. When love (but also attachment and dependency) is too threatening to the self, when the anxiety of mimetic similarity takes over, the ideology of hatred protects the self (individual or collective) from ambivalent identifications. It is, however, the responsibility of the democratic state to instigate a discourse as well as actions which suspend hatred in order for love to become possible.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHate, Politics, Law
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Perspectives on Combating Hate
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780190465544
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Ambivalence
  • Denial
  • Desire
  • Hatred
  • Love
  • Psychoanalysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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