Skills, Outlooks and Passions: A psychoanalytical contribution to the study of politics
Cambridge University Press, $19.95 pb, 522 pp
There is a Melbourne school in the study of politics, a group of scholars whose work in biography, and in public opinion and public administration studies has been strongly influenced by psychoanalysis, and stresses the importance of unconscious motivation. The Melbourne school is a loose grouping; some of its members would deny that it has a leader, but it owes its existence, and much of its success, to Professor A.F. Davies of Melbourne University’s Political Science Department.
In Skills, Outlooks and Passions: A psychoanalytical contribution to the study of politics, Professor Davies has brought together and extended his previous work in three areas, the study of administrative styles and roles, the classification of political outlooks, and the study of the emotions as they are expressed in political life. The book, the author explains, is ‘actually three slim volumes bound as one’, but it is the product of a single version of the political animal. Despite the relative paucity of psychoanalytic literature which deals directly with political topics, this book is, in all senses, substantial.