The Spoils of Freedom examines the emergence of nationalist, racist and anti-feminist ideologies in post-socialist Eastern Europe. In a political context that includes ethnic wars, post-socialist totalitarianism, capitalist moral majority ideologies, and a virulent new patriarchy, this provocative study asks what has become of the notions of democracy and human rights since the collapse of socialism and challenges the 'political correctness' movement and western theoretical responses to the events which have occurred in former Communist countries The Spoils of Freedom views major social and political change through contemporary theory. Using psychoanalitic, post-structuralist and feminist theories, Renata Salecl argues that the success of the new nationalist and anti-liberal ideologies can be understood through the concept of fantasy, and the willingness of individuals to identify with the hidden fantasies embedded in political discourse. In doing so she offers a new approach to human rights, feminism and other liberal theories grounded in her own active participation in the struggles against communism, nationalism and anti-feminism.
Renata Salecl is a philosopher and sociologist. She works as a researcher in the Department of Law at the Institute of Criminology, Ljubljana, Slovenia and has published widely in the areas of feminism, psychoanalysis and political theory. She is also a visiting scholar at the Gender Studies Program, New School for Social Research, New York.