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Zaleznik, A. (1992). The Need to have Enemies and Allies: From Clinical Practice to International Relationships: By Vamik D. Volkan. Northvale, N. J.: Aronson, 1988, xix + 298 pp., $25.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 40:904-907.
(1992). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 40:904-907
The Need to have Enemies and Allies: From Clinical Practice to International Relationships: By Vamik D. Volkan. Northvale, N. J.: Aronson, 1988, xix + 298 pp., $25.00.
Review by: Abraham Zaleznik
As the subtitle of this book suggests, Dr. Volkan attempts to extrapolate theories and findings from clinical practice to world politics and international relations. The intended audience includes a wide variety of professionals, academics, politicians, and practitioners of the art of diplomacy. It is a gargantuan task to extrapolate from psychoanalytic practice with a single patient to conflicts between ethnic groups and nations. But to cast such a wide net as to include sophisticated psychoanalysts, who know little professionally about international relations, and political scientists and diplomats, who probably have little formal knowledge about psychoanalysis, is to make the task nearly impossible given our current state of knowledge in all of the human sciences. Nevertheless, try we must, and the readers of this book will scarcely fault the author for the diligent effort he makes in building bridges between different disciplines, and ultimately, bringing together former enemies in the interests of world peace.
Volkan was born to a Turkish family on the island of Cyprus, where perceived enemies abounded in the relations between Greeks and Turks. This background, fraught with tragedy, sensitized him to man's seemingly perpetual need for others to hate, and upon whom to project their primitive fears of internalized "bad" objects. Trained as a physician, psychiatrist, and psychoanalyst, Volkan found a sustaining environment at the Medical School of the University of Virginia. In addition, Joseph V. Montville, of the U.S.
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