The International Dialogue Initiative (IDI) is a private, international, multidisciplinary group comprised of psychoanalysts, academics, diplomats, and other professionals who bring a psychologically informed perspective to the study and amelioration of societal conflict. It aims to provide a reflective space to enable an understanding of how the emotional and historical background of hostile relations – often related to trauma – is being experienced in the present. By doing so, antagonists can overcome resistances to dialogue and facilitate the discovery of peaceful solutions to intergroup problems. This book brings together key members of the IDI to present the theory and practice of the important work they do. At its heart, the book holds the idea that, while traumatic experiences may happen to an individual or a family, they also affect society and large-group identity over long periods of time. In that way, trauma plays out between generations and between countries.
The book is divided into three parts: theory, application, and methodology. Trauma is the key thread running throughout and the distinguished contributors investigate healing, dehumanisation, memory, the pandemic, war, terrorism, identity, culture, the law, justice, and religion, among many other fascinating topics. The authors bring in case studies from all over the world, including the United States, Northern Ireland, Russia, Israel, Turkey, Germany, Egypt, and Palestine. To make sense of these, they draw on a wide range of approaches: group relations theory, group analytic theory, psychoanalysis, large-group psychology, psychodynamic theory, psychology, economics, sociology, political science, history, journalism, and the law, to name but a few. This must-read book brings theory to vivid life and brings hope that our fractured world can learn to heal.