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Phantom Possession. The New Authoritarian Personality and its Domains.

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 PhantomAiD project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the PhantomAiD project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "PhantomAiD" about.

mass    investigates    abortion    domains    domain    first    economic    authoritarianism    deep    notion    forces    rifts    critical    phantasmatic    gender    entitlement    global    structures    traits    feminist    reconstruction    hannah    individualizing    psyches    psychological    link    discourse    owners    consists    authoritarian    running    property    psychology    relations    destroy    conceptualised    defensive    prejudices    reference    implements    school    either    right    destructive    owner    theoretical    explained    object    bridge    license    integrates    point    mechanisms    mentioned    arendt    personality    date    theory    modern    mobilization    defend    implied    components    prefigured    immigration    destructiveness    risk    character    dual    frankfurt    defensiveness    aggressively    defence    becomes    core    full    subject    consequently    politics    environmental    understand    requiring    phantom    dimensions    phenomenon    disparate    reductionism    framework    possession    consistent    newer    introduces    basis    political    violence    logic    material   

Project "PhantomAiD" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: VERONA
postcode: 37129

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Italy [IT]
 Total cost 171˙473 €
 EC max contribution 171˙473 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2019
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-12-01   to  2022-11-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI VERONA IT (VERONA) coordinator 171˙473.00


 Project objective

Authoritarian political forces are a growing global phenomenon. In critical theory, this is explained either through material factors, running the risk of economic reductionism, or through psychological traits, individualizing the matter in a problematic way. To date, no theoretical framework integrates the two dimensions in a consistent way, leading to deep rifts in political analysis. The proposed research programme introduces the term phantom possession in order to bridge between the material and the psychological level. The notion of phantom possession allows the reconstruction of authoritarianism as driven by property logic. Conceptualised as a domain requiring control and defence, the phantasmatic entitlement becomes a reference point for authoritarian mobilization. Consequently, the subject of authoritarianism can be characterized as a phantom owner. The full theory of the authoritarian personality as phantom owner consists of three components. The first is an account of the politics of phantom owners. As Hannah Arendt mentioned in her analysis of modern mass-politics, authoritarianism is destructive in a way prefigured by early modern property discourse. I analyse destructiveness as the core characteristic of authoritarian politics. The second component investigates the psychology of phantom owners. To understand the psychological basis of authoritarianism, I link the Frankfurt School approach of authoritarian character formation with newer trends in feminist object-relations theory. On this basis, prejudices can be understood as defensive mechanisms, and defensiveness as the defining feature of authoritarian psyches. The third component implements my account. I show how the dual license to violence implied by property – the right to destroy and the right to aggressively defend one’s property – structures current authoritarian mobilization around such disparate domains as abortion, immigration, gender, and environmental politics.

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The information about "PHANTOMAID" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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