Abstract

This article offers an analysis of the populism that is currently ascendent in U.S. politics and society, which takes an ethno-nationalist form. This article argues that contemporary American ethno-nationalism is fantastical in character, rather than being based on empirical political or social concerns. Bringing together the well-established image of the social as the “body politic,” Slavoj Žižek’s theory of political fantasy, and the insights of transgender theory, the article argues that contemporary American ethno-nationalism represents a dysphoric response to a social body experienced as fundamentally misshapen or deformed.

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