Eszter Salgó is interested in what Freud described as “[the] three impossible professions” – politics, psychoanalysis and pedagogy. She teaches in American University of Rome’s Department of International Relations and her publications explore how people’s desires, fantasies and emotions shape political events and social phenomena; they highlight the mythical sources of today’s political projects, the power of political imagination, and the function of symbolism in political thought.
Her new book Psychoanalytic Reflections on Politics: Fatherlands in Mothers’ Hands was published by Routledge in late 2012 and presents a new way of considering the art of politics, based on the understanding that people perceive reality through imagination and unconscious fantasy. In her (playful) study, Salgó argues that the driving force for the formation of political communities is fantasy – ‘illusions’ in a Winnicottian sense, ‘phantasies’ in a Lacanian sense, ‘phantoms’ as described by Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok and ‘dreams’ as interpreted by Sándor Ferenczi. She introduces the metaphor of the ‘fantastic family’ as a symbolic representation of political communities, both to gain a better understanding of people’s deeply felt desire to find in public life the resolution, love and wholeness of early childhood, and to unveil the political elite’s readiness to don the mask of the ‘ideal parent’.
Information valid as of winter 2012.