|E-mail||cpsgen (non Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk)
|Thesis title||Conflict in the Collective: C.G. Jung’s Theory of the Collective Unconscious and its Use in His Explanation of International Politics and the Causes of War
|Abstract||This thesis explores how Jung used his theories of the collective unconscious and archetypes to look at international politics and explain events in Germany and Europe prior to the Second World War.
The opening section starts with defining the frames of reference of the thesis and introduces the discipline of International Politics, psycho-analytic ideas and provides a comparative overview of some of Jung’s ideas. After this introductory theory, there are two biographical Chapters on Jung’s perspective on politics and international politics to assess his political beliefs and level of realism.
The second section is concerned with Jung’s theories. His contribution is examined to define what part of psychological and political life Jung was addressing and how his model in the thirties failed to establish his ideas about the significance of race and nations. This examination of his theories shows that many of his observations depended on a partially articulated recognition of cultural factors, and the examination of his various explanations of archetypal theory offers a new understanding of the different strands and contradictions in this theory.
The third section returns to historical issues and looks at the question of how successful Jung was in applying these theories to Nazi Germany and warning of events to come.
The appendix takes a post-Jungian perspective on the material. This moves away from Jung’s classical use of the theories of archetypes and national psychologies to one based on post-Jungian ideas of Platonic ‘political forms’ and the systemic aspect of unconscious political influences. This theoretical reformulation is then briefly reapplied to look again at the history of the Third Reich.