Contemporary Political Theory

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 58–79 | Cite as

National finitude and the paranoid style of the one

  • Andrea Mura


This article inquires into the clinical figure of paranoia and its constitutive role in the articulation of the nation-state discourse in Europe, uncovering a central tension between a principle of integrity and a dualist spatial configuration. A conceptual distinction between ‘border’ (finis) and ‘frontier’ (limes) will help to expose the political effects of such a tension, unveiling the way in which a solid and striated organisation of space has been mobilised in the topographic antagonism of the nation, sustaining the phantasm of a self-enclosed, self-sufficient finitude.


paranoia nation finitude Jacques Lacan borders frontiers 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013)/ERC grant agreement no. 249379.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Mura
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Social Science, Open UniversityUK

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