The word destabilisation can be applied to a wide variety of contexts such as attempts to undermine political, military or economic power.
In a psychological context it is used as a technique in brainwashing and abuse to disorient and disarm the victim. For example, in the context of workplace bullying, destabilisation applied to the victim may involve:
- failure to acknowledge good work and value the victim's efforts
- allocation of meaningless tasks
- removal of areas of responsibility without consultation
- repeated reminders of blunders
- setting up to fail
- shifting of goal posts without telling the victim
- persistent attempts to demoralise the victim.
Destabilisation could also denote the extreme end of disinhibition syndrome and entail the complete shutdown of an individual's control of emotions, inhibitions, and productive functioning. The condition can be episodic or it could last for months or years, requiring professional care from a practitioner who is familiar with the individual's primary neurological disorder.
In psychology, there is also a process called cognitive destabilisation, which involves being open to conversions and transformations of various kinds. This could be used to counter political destabilisation by presenting a consensual view of the problem.
Destabilisation is also used in the feminist context such as the way it is used to change the binary opposition between men and women, particularly how it gives the category 'woman' its meaning. For instance, this is expressed in many feminists' discomfort concerning postmodern theories' challenge to traditional binary oppositions, perceiving it as a subversion of women's attempt to define their own subjecthood. The body of literature on feminism also often invoke the need to destabilise modern theory, particularly the theoretical discourses that claim neutrality but are established from a masculine perspective. These attempts to destabilise modern female constructs have been informed by Jacques Derrida's deconstruction theory, particularly the destabilisation of positions and subjects that have been deemed holistic or authoritative.
In literature, a conceptualization refers to it as an aggression or a kind of attack on the reader to provoke discomfort. In international capital transactions, it is used to denote as a capital movement driven by erroneous forecast, driving the exchange rate away from equilibrium that would be supported by rational speculators whose foresight are correct.
- Abusive power and control
- Cognitive distortion
- Demoralization (warfare)
- Discrediting tactic
- Divide and rule
- Economic terrorism
- Guilt trip
- Isolation to facilitate abuse
- Mental confusion
- Mind games
- Passive–aggressive behavior
- Personal boundaries
- Playing one person against another
- Psychological abuse
- Silent treatment
- Social undermining
- Strategy of tension
- Thesis, antithesis, synthesis
- Rayner, Charlotte; Hoel, Helge; Cooper, Cary L. (2001). Workplace Bullying: What We Know, Who Is to Blame and What Can We Do?. London: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-24062-8. OCLC 80758449.
- Peyton, Pauline Rennie (2003). Dignity at Work: Eliminate Bullying and Create a Positive Working Environment. New York: Brunner-Routledge. ISBN 978-1-58391-237-9. OCLC 52334801.
- Wood, Rose (1999). Dysinhibition Syndrome: How to Handle Anger and Rage in Your Child Or Spouse. Duarte, CA: Hope Press. p. 5. ISBN 1878267086.
- Anderson, Amanda (2009). The Way We Argue Now: A Study in the Cultures of Theory. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p. 119. ISBN 9780691114033.
- Lidskog, Rolf; Soneryd, Linda; Uggla, Ylva (2010). Transboundary Risk Governance. Sterling, VA: Earthscan. p. 8. ISBN 9781844077915.
- Barrett, Michèle; Phillips, Anne (1992). Destabilizing Theory: Contemporary Feminist Debates. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. p. 8. ISBN 0804720304.
- Michael, Magali Cornier (1996). Feminism and the Postmodern Impulse: Post-World War II Fiction. State University of New York Press. p. 25. ISBN 0791430162.
- Barrett, Michèle; Phillips, Anne (1992). Destabilizing Theory: Contemporary Feminist Debates. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. p. 1. ISBN 0804720304.
- McDowell, Linda; Sharp, Joanne (1999). A Feminist Glossary of Human Geography. Oxon: Routledge. p. 50. ISBN 0340741430.
- Hume, Kathryn (2011-12-05). Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel. Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801462887.
- Fieleke, Mr Norman S. (1993-12-01). International Capital Transactions: Should They Be Restricted?. International Monetary Fund. ISBN 9781455220526.
- von Beyme, Klaus (2000). Parliamentary Democracy: Democratization, Destabilization, Reconsolidation 1789-1999. Advances in Political Science. Springer. ISBN 978-0-230-51439-3. OCLC 681925162.
- Dzimba, John (1998). South Africa's Destabilization of Zimbabwe, 1980-89. Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1057/9780230372146. ISBN 978-0-230-37214-6. OCLC 759110485.
- Johnson, Phyllis; Martin, David Lozell (1989). Apartheid Terrorism: The Destabilization Report. Changing Southern Africa. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-85255-340-4. OCLC 750898238.
- Murillo, Mario A.; Avirama, Jesús Rey (2004). Colombia and the United States: War, Unrest, and Destabilization. Open Media book. New York: Seven Stories Press. ISBN 978-1-58322-606-3. OCLC 54806694.
- Sen, Mohit (1987). Challenge of Destabilisation. Madras: News Today. OCLC 551397347.
- Siṅgha, Darabāra, ed. (1987). Destabilisation and Subversion: New Challenges. New Delhi: Patriot Publishers. ISBN 978-81-7050-058-2. OCLC 18558315.
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