Defining both sides of the authoritarian psyche
The resurgence of authoritarianism is a growing global phenomenon, but one that has not been reviewed from within a framework that combines material factors and psychological traits so as to avoid either economic reductionism or an overly individualistic explanation. The EU-funded PhantomAiD project will integrate these two dimensions. It will use the term phantom possession to bridge the material and psychological levels, as driven by property logic. Specifically, the project will show how the dual license to violence implied by property (the right to destroy and the right to defend one’s property) is what structures authoritarian mobilisation around issues such as immigration, abortion, gender and environmental politics. It is on this basis that prejudices act as defensive mechanisms and defensiveness (a defining feature of authoritarian psyches).