The Psychology of People, Power and Politics: Through the Looking Glass
From events in our everyday life to those which stride the international stage, we have come to view the world in increasingly psychological terms. In spite of this, beyond the wants, desires and motivations of the characters who form the centrepiece of these explanatory dramas, the discipline which constitutes the driving force behind the analyses has been largely overlooked. In a series of essays, covering issues from mental health to political governance and war, this book reflects on the nature of psychology as an intellectual endeavour, questions its relationship to the systems of power which shape our lives, and strays from the beaten track to offer new perspectives and voices.
Ron Roberts is a chartered psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and honorary lecturer in psychology at Kingston University. He has previously worked at King's College London, University College London, St Bartholomew's Medical College, The Tavistock Institute, Queen Mary University of London and the University of Westminster, and has published over 60 peer reviewed articles and is the author and editor of 13 books, including Parapsychology (with David Groome), Psychology and Capitalism, Mental Health in Crisis (with Joel Vos and James Davies) and the late Svetlana Boym’s The Origins of Nostalgia: Memories and Reflections. As well as pioneering work on student mental health and student participation in the sex industry, he contributed to Antarctic Resolutions which won the 2021 DAM Architectural Book Award and the 2022 Grand Prize of the European Commission honouring Innovation in Technology, Industry and Society stimulated by the Arts.
"Ron Roberts presents in this important collection of previously published essays, spanning from 1990 till the present, a rich harvest of professionally gained insights. When he brings in the arguments, approaches and aims of Thomas Szasz, R.D. Laing and Svetlana Boym (among others), he reflects on their similarities, as well as diverging approaches to the alleviation of mental distress. He appeals to us readers to accept the idiosyncrasies of thoughts, experience and habits of others, as long as they do not infringe on our way of living, and “for the freedom to be different and to take charge of one’s own life, free from the machinations of state sponsored psychiatric interference.” Fun, love, liberty, justice, freedom, and openness are modes of being supporting an off-modern psychology, an approach favoured by the author. His late friend, Svetlana Boym, formed the frame and Roberts shepherds us to accept and deal with the complexity of being in the world."
Theodor Itten Psychotherapist, United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
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