Dr Mandelbaum teaches and researches global politics and nations and nationalism from a psychoanalytical lens. He has written peer-reviewed research papers on the Brexit vote, the inclusion of LGBTQ population as a form of sovereign legitimation in Israeli society, the ideal of nationally congruent societies in modernity, and the power of belonging in global politics. His recent book, The Nation/State Fantasy, offers a psychoanalytical genealogy of nationalism from early modernity to contemporary political and IR theory.
Dr Mandelbaum has also written for E-IR on Brexit, and on the problematic IHRC definition of antisemitism for Open Democracy. He is an associate editor for Frontiers in Political Science, and the Journal of Global Faultlines.
Dr Mandelbaum joined Keele in January 2014 as Lecturer in International Relations and have since fulfilled various roles at school and faculty levels including Acting Director of PGT Studies for the Faculty of Humanities and the Social Sciences; the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Champion (SPGS); Director of PGR (SPGS), and Director of PGT studies (SPGS). He has also served as external examiner for the MA programme in IR at Staffordshire University for 5 years.
Since joining Keele, Dr Mandelbaum has contributed to several funded projects on psychoanalysis, global politics, and the social sciences, broadly defined, including ‘Psychoanalysing the 21st Century’ (Led by Ronnie Lippens and funded by Keele University); ‘Interrogating the Void: Lacan and International Relations’ (funded by The European International Studies Association Exploratory Symposia, and co-organised with Andreja Zevnik). He is currently PI to ‘Psychoanalysis as Methodology’, an ESRC-Collaborative Innovation Grant (2022/2023).
Research and scholarship
Dr Mandelbaum research lies at the intersection of nations and nationalism, political theory, and critical approaches to IR and security, with a focus on Israel/Palestine. His work is influenced by discourse analytical and psychoanalytical approaches to (global) politics, particularly Lacanian psychoanalysis and the works of Slavoj Žižek. Key concepts he has been developing and applying to political and IR theory as well as Israel/Palestine include 'fantasy', 'enjoyment' (jouissance) and interpellation.
His first book, The Nation/State Fantasy, offers a psychoanalytical genealogy of nationalism from early modernity to contemporary political and IR theory (2020: Palgrave Macmillan).
He has published research papers on the Brexit vote and discourse and the rise of national-populism through a psychoanalytical lens, focusing on the bodily enjoyment (jouissance) the narrative of 'Making Britain Great Again' entails (International Journal for the Semiotics of Law); homonationalism in Israeli society (Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society), on the relationship between nationalism and insecurity (Critical Studies on Security) and on the nation/state in modernity and IR theory (Philosophy & Social Criticism, and the Journal of IR & Development). He is also the co-author (with Andreja Zevnik) of the entry on Psychoanalysis in Global Politics and International Relations, published by Oxford Bibliographies.
Dr Mandelbaum is currently finalising a journal paper that offers a psychoanalytical framework for the analysis of interpellation and belonging in global politics, as well as co-editing a special issue on psychoanalysis and global politics.
He is also writing a paper that unpacks the appeal of the ‘people’ in political thought, focusing on the various manifestations the 'people' entails and its racialisation in global politics.
Other projects he has recently started working on include the convergence of White Nationalism and antisemitism in global politics.
I am currently the module leader of:
Intro to IR (level 4)
Israel/Palestine: Key Issues and Debates (level 6)
Global Fault-lines, with Bulent Gokay (level 7)
Human Rights and Global Politics (level 7)
I also contribute to the Philosophy of the Social Sciences (PGT, PhD)
I used to lead and teach Securing Global Order (level 4), Dissertation Module (level 6), Gendering Global Politics (level 6), and the Other Middle-East (level 6).
I am the lead supervisor to the following students:
Nacera Haouche, ‘The Resurgence of the Muslim Immigrant as a Barbarian in Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations and The Remaking of the World Order’ (since 2017).
Keith Lewis, ‘Mystical Post-Anarchism’, (since 2016).
Moaz El-Sayed, ‘Intra-Sunni contestations in contemporary Lebanon: A framing-theory approach to the analysis of political divides within Lebanon’s Sunni demographic (2005-2016), (completed 2019).
I am happy to supervise research students on the following topics:
International Relations and political theory
Critical security studies
Nations and nationalism
Emotions and affect
Gender and sexuality