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Borderland Selves: Rethinking Identity in Contemporary Global/Local Articulations
Unformatted Document Text:  As becoming, identity appears as a mobile region (Shotter, 1989), an infinite in finite guise (Varela, 1984), as a movement that is both assertion and dissolution, continuity and rupture, closure and openess. In this sense, identity or becoming is never an uninterrupted flow, a peaceful unfolding, but constantly marked by interruptions and recoveries, by a struggle between competing positions and paths, where relational fields are always defined contingently and therefore can be never secured in advance. As such, they are constantly appropriated, fractured, reconstituted and even hijacked (as it can be seen for example the appropriation that Right wing movements have made – in the United States, France, and Chile, among other countries – of traditionally Left wing discourses and constituencies). It is on the basis of this very condition of in-betweeness that the relation between the global and the local becomes one of mutual constitution. For while each can be said to have a coherence or consistency of its own – thus a singularity that at the same establishes a degree of incommensurability between the global and the local as relational domains – such consistency is never produced in relation to itself but in relation to a space other than, and beyond to, itself; and therefore as a space that is required for its constitution (i.e., the global for the constitution of the local, and the local for the constitution of the global) – one can not exist without the other. Laclau (1995) provides a similar argument in the context of the relation between the universal and the particular: “[t]he universal emerges out of the particular not as some principle underlying and explaining the particular, but as an incomplete horizon suturing a dislocated particular identity.” (101) [emphasis mine]. And for this very reason it follows that universality, although “is incommensurable with any particularity”, cannot however “exist apart from the particular” (107) and therefore neither escape its own incompleteness. Such sense of interpenetration of global and local,

Authors: Correa, Andres.
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As becoming, identity appears as a mobile region (Shotter, 1989), an infinite in finite
guise (Varela, 1984), as a movement that is both assertion and dissolution, continuity and
rupture, closure and openess. In this sense, identity or becoming is never an uninterrupted
flow, a peaceful unfolding, but constantly marked by interruptions and recoveries, by a
struggle between competing positions and paths, where relational fields are always defined
contingently and therefore can be never secured in advance. As such, they are constantly
appropriated, fractured, reconstituted and even hijacked (as it can be seen for example the
appropriation that Right wing movements have made – in the United States, France, and
Chile, among other countries – of traditionally Left wing discourses and constituencies).
It is on the basis of this very condition of in-betweeness that the relation between the
global and the local becomes one of mutual constitution. For while each can be said to have
a coherence or consistency of its own – thus a singularity that at the same establishes a
degree of incommensurability between the global and the local as relational domains – such
consistency is never produced in relation to itself but in relation to a space other than, and
beyond to, itself; and therefore as a space that is required for its constitution (i.e., the global
for the constitution of the local, and the local for the constitution of the global) – one can not
exist without the other. Laclau (1995) provides a similar argument in the context of the
relation between the universal and the particular: “[t]he universal emerges out of the
particular not as some principle underlying and explaining the particular, but as an
incomplete horizon suturing a dislocated particular identity.” (101) [emphasis mine]. And
for this very reason it follows that universality, although “is incommensurable with any
particularity”, cannot however “exist apart from the particular” (107) and therefore neither
escape its own incompleteness. Such sense of interpenetration of global and local,


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