The fourth of the 2022-2023 Fall Semester Political Science and Public Administration Department Seminars was held on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 at the Meeting Hall of the Faculty of Political Sciences at 17.00. In this context, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Helin SARI ERTEM, who is a member of our university’s International Relations Department, presented a seminar titled “Ontological Security in Foreign Policy Analysis and J. LACAN”.
ERTEM started her speech by explaining the conceptual, theoretical, and practical reflections of the concept of Ontological Security. In this context she answered questions like “What is ontological security? What does ontological distrust mean? What theorists can be highlighted on the concept of ontological security? What studies have been done on this subject? How can ontological security and identity be related? How can the security needs of societies or states be explained?”. In this way ERTEM presented a conceptual and literature-oriented review of Ontological Security Theory in the discipline of International Relations.
In her speech, ERTEM emphasized the importance of the concept of ontological security in order to explain identity conflicts. She stated that the concept makes some situations that cannot be explained by other security theories explainable. In this context, she considered ontological security theory as a functional tool in the resolution of conflicts between societies or governments. ERTEM also stated that many case studies such as identity crises, international terrorism, ethnic conflicts, civil conflicts, territorial claims, refugee problems, economic crises, democracy crises, the rise of the far right, recurrent armed conflicts, genocide and ethnic cleansing can be handled with ontological security theory. At the same time, she once again emphasized the importance of the ontological security theory in ending violent conflicts, establishing peace and justice, establishing strong institutions, and preventing excesses.
Finally, ERTEM focused on the relationship between ontological security theory and identity. She discussed the development of the relationship in question within the scope of the theories developed by the famous French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. As a prominent Freud advocate, Lacan built his theories on the concept of the unconscious and developed the Mirror Phase Theory. In this context, ERTEM stated that it will be possible to make explanations about the identity development and conflicts of societies, starting from Lacan, who explains the development of individual identity with the Mirror Phase Theory. She stated that the need for security in individuals is parallel to the need for security of societies or states. Thus, she dealt with how identities develop and the factors that cause identity conflicts with a psychoanalytic approach.
The seminar ended with a question-and-answer session.