This book, the last in a trilogy on psychoanalytic reflections, explores power and vulnerability in three related areas: Leadership and Organizations, the Political Arena, and Global Finances.
The thirteen essays included here, with a conclusion to the trilogy written by Jim Krantz, link psychoanalytic concepts with system psychodynamics. This provides a powerful way of analyzing and understanding how the inner world of the individual is mobilized in relation to the group, the organization, society and globally, from the perspective of the close interconnection between power and vulnerability. The papers in this volume describe how power and vulnerability are closely interlinked with infantile omnipotence and helplessness.
"At a time when psychoanalysis itself may be seen both as increasingly vulnerable yet residually powerful, this important book breathes new life into the social project of the discipline. We see how power and vulnerability can be fixed polar opposites, how they can swap around, how an external variant of the one may counterpose an internal variant of the other. These complexities are then firmly placed in real world settings by a stellar cast of authors. An unexpected gift of the book is the light shed on how these dynamics play out in individual experience and in human relationships. An inspiring work, above all compassionate and humane in its attitude to the unfixability of these problems."
- Professor Andrew Samuels, author of Politics on the Couch and Professor of Analytical Psychology , University of Essex
"For some, the disastrous effect of the poverty and vulnerability of childhood on adult behaviour has become a truism, but for others it remains a mystery or myth. This collection of essays is a compelling composite linking psychoanalytic concepts and system psychodynamics. The message is clear: psychoanalytic concepts, when intelligently applied, remain relevant to any attempt to understand organisational life or society itself. These essays focus widely, from boardroom to care facilities, and emphasise the destructiveness of power, its roots in individual vulnerability, and the development of destructive defences to deal with it. This collection is essential and absorbing reading, not only for those already working with these ideas, but also for all executives and leaders, whether organisational or political."
- Dr Stanley Gold, President , International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organisations (ISPSO)
"The book explores the interconnectedness of power and vulnerability from its expression in early mother-child relationships through to its effects in organisational life and in broad societal and global dynamics. The stance is from the systems psychodynamic or socioanalytic perspective: examining the underlying and largely unconscious drivers of overt behaviours. Our learning comes from each of the fascinating chapters as they throw light on how the balance between power and vulnerability is revealed and shifted; held or shattered; with resounding consequences. This focus is much needed and welcomed. The book is an important addition to the libraries of those wanting to understand more about the complexities of organisations and society."
- Professor Susan Long, management educator, organisational consultant, author of The Perverse Organisation and its Deadly Sins, and editor of Socioanalytic Methods