The author has three goals in writing this book. The first is to explore large-group identity such as ethnic identity, diplomacy, political propaganda, terrorism and the role of leaders in international affairs. The second goal is to describe societal and political responses to trauma at the hands of the Other, large-group mourning, and the appearance of the history of ancestors and its consequences. The third goal is to expand theories of large-group psychology in its own right and define concepts illustrating what happens when tens of thousands or millions of people share similar psychological journeys. Vamik D. Volkan is a psychoanalyst who has been involved in unofficial diplomacy for thirty-five years. His interdisciplinary team has brought "enemy" representatives, such as Israelis and Arabs, Russians and Estonians, Georgians and South Ossetians, together for dialogue. He has spent time in refugee camps and met many world leaders. In 2008 he initiated the International Dialogue Initiative (IDI), and is one of the IDI leaders who brings together unofficial representatives, including psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic group therapists and former diplomats, from Lebanon, Germany, Iran, Israel, Russia, Turkey, UK, and USA to discuss world affairs from different points of view and evaluate psychological issues that contaminate them. As far-reaching developments in communication technology and modern globalization are occurring and changing human civilization, the author´s work finds a crucial place for psychodynamic thinking in world affairs.
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