Oedipal authority and capitalist sovereignty: A Deleuzoguattarian reading of IR theory

Earl Gammon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Despite advancements in the theorisation of political sovereignty brought about by the engagements of critical international relations theory, there remain significant lacunae in our understanding of the reproduction of this peculiar configuration of social life. This article, drawing on the collaborative work of Deleuze and Guattari, seeks to provide a more robust theorisation of the subjectivities underpinning modern political sovereignty — here understood as capitalist sovereignty. It looks to their programme of ‘schizoanalysis’, which interrogates the unconscious libidinal investments of capitalist reproduction. Specifically, Deleuze and Guattari argue that a factitious Oedipal configuration of desire allows the sovereign flow of capital. This article gathers insights from schizoanalysis in elucidating a dynamic affective relationship between sovereignty and the territorial state. It also suggests the potential of schizoanalysis for reconceptualising world politics and contributing to emancipatory IR scholarship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-377
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of International Relations and Development
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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