chapter  2
18 Pages

Diplomacy as an Ideological State Apparatus

WithAlexander Stagnell

Ideology enters the picture in the same moment as the Master Signifier externalizes the immanent antagonism, when the gap is explained through a fantasy relating the subject to its fantasmatic object. The understanding of ideology is thus clearly far removed from the traditional Marxist conception. No other theoretical development during the twentieth century facilitated the transformation and rethinking of the concept of ideology more than Louis Althusser’s Ideological State Apparatus (ISA). But the fact that there is no real outside to the ideological field, means that Althusser’s theory runs the risk of assuming that any ISA constitutes a complete, closed system, turning individuals into “the subjects they always-already are”. With the basic formulas put in place, it is now possible to return to the question of understanding the political, the realm to which diplomacy also belongs.