Decolonial Psychoanalysis

In this provocative and necessary book, Robert K. Beshara uses psychoanalytic discursive analysis to explore the possibility of a genuinely anti-colonial critical psychology. Drawing on postcolonial and decolonial approaches to Islamophobia, this book enhances understandings of Critical Border Thinking and Lacanian Discourse Analysis alongside other theoretico-methodological approaches.

Using a critical decolonial psychology approach to conceptualize everyday Islamophobia, the author examines theoretical resources situated within the discursive turn, such as decoloniality/transmodernity, and carries out an archaeology of (counter)terrorism, a genealogy of the conceptual Muslim, and a Žižekian ideology critique. Conceiving of Decolonial Psychoanalysis as one theoretical resource for Critical Islamophobia Studies (CIS), the author also applies Lacanian Discourse Analysis to extracts from interviews conducted with US Muslims to theorize their ethico-political subjectivity and considers a politics of resistance, adversarial aesthetics, and ethics of liberation.

Essential to any attempt to come to terms with the legacy of racism in psychology, and the only critical psychological study on Islamophobia in the US, this is fascinating reading for anyone interested in a critical approach to Islamophobia.


Williams, S. A. (2019). Decolonial Psychoanalysis. Language and Psychoanalysis, 8(2), 1-5.

"Decolonial Psychoanalysis is a book whose principles reach far beyond its 162 pages. It's a self-interrogative look at how conflicting elements can be placed within a structure that reveals the 'How' of 'Why' the dynamics between go wrong. The book is prescient with a more critical and flexible analysis than other politically-engaged approaches have been able to offer, with the added benefit of proving Lacan's practicality in everyday life. Critical Psychology and Lacanian Discourse Analysis tag team for the title in this tournament of poor epistemologies represented by those willing to pass on the deadlocks of their reasoning. Robert's masterpiece is the light at the end of the tunnel, the opposing train, that will get one right in one's political life." -- S. Alfonso Williams

"A topical new title by Robert Beshara is Decolonial Psychoanalysis: Towards Critical Islamophobia Studies. He tries to come to terms with the legacy of racism in psychology making it a great read for anyone interested in a critical approach to Islamaphobia. Afua Hirsch, the Guardian columnist, writes extensively about identity, British history and why we cannot be complacent about race. At Karnac, we highly recommend her book Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging. It reveals some uncomfortable truths about race and identity in Britain today. As with most titles, we can get hold of this book for you easily so do call us if you would like to order it along with Robert Beshara’s new book – they would compliment each other perfectly!" -- Karnac Books.

"Decolonial Psychoanalysis: Towards Critical Islamophobia Studies ... explores the possibility of a genuinely anti-colonial psychology, drawing on postcolonial and decolonial approaches to Islamophobia and Lacanian Discourse Analysis, in particular the Zizekian critique of ideology. It is available to preorder from publishers Routledge or Amazon." -- Lacan Online.