272 pages | 6 B/W Illus.
The Brexit vote; the election of Trump; the upsurge of European nationalism; the devolution of the Arab Spring; global violence; Chinese expansionism; disruptive climate change; the riotous instabilities of the world capitalist system…While diverse in nature, these events share a common denominator: they are less a failure of policy, and more a complex social psychological reaction to globalization, the result of which presently threatens our survival on Earth.
Based on a critical reading of Freud’s Civilization and its discontents, The defiance of global commitment constructs a complex social psychology of how people all over the world are addressingglobalization. Drawing on the latest advances in the cognitive, social, and complexity sciences, this timely volume presents a global model of defiance and the triangular tensions between nostalgic retreat, global aggression, and civil society, as manifested in forms ranging from nostalgic resentment and LGBTQI issues to racism and ecological aggression.
Revealing how globalization and its discontents manifest the darker reaches of the human psyche and its conflicted relations with others, this insightful monograph will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers, interested in fields such as globalization studies, complexity sciences and social psychology.
Today’s hyper-connected global world seems to breed more real discontent than the winners and techno-prophets would like us to believe. How can we explain this disgruntlement? Castellani goes beyond the obvious accounts and delves into the deeper and structural causes underlying today’s societal resentment. He revisits Freud’s seminal works on the human psyche vis-à-vis societal change. The convincing argument is made that people are not just angry because they feel left out but that there is a much more complex set of factors at play. Subsequently, global resentment is not going to disappear with some quick political fixes. On the face of it, the new Strongarm leaders or the decision to retreat from international agreements may seem to offer the way forward, but do little to fix the structural causes indeed. Those people – academics or otherwise – with a real interest in the worldwide reaction to globalization and global civil society will find Castellani’s analysis razor-sharp and urgent. Highly recommended!
Professor Lasse Gerrits
Author, Punching Clouds: An Introduction to the Complexity of Public Decision Making
Department of Political Science
Otto-Friedrich University, Bamberg, Germany
‘The Defiance of Global Commitment: A Complex Social Psychology’ is an important book. It is both useful and grimly realistic to invoke Freud and the aggressive tendencies of humankind in the context of our global responsibilities. This primal level demands to be addressed where the weaker forms of social constructionist theory tend to ignore it. In this sense, ‘a complex social psychology’ is necessary to engage the intersecting global, social and psychological dimensions involved. Freud’s tripartite model applied to social defiance is therefore presented as a necessary struggle of differentiation and directed aggression against a perceived ‘other’ of various mutual forms. The challenge the book presents is not only an analysis of this global condition but a distinction between positive and negative ‘therapies’ of resolution. More generally this text is a key moment for complexity theory’s insistence that social analyses must re-orient themselves to the interplay of global, social and psychological dynamics.?
Dr John Smith
Author, Qualitative Complexity
Department of Education & Community Studies
University of Greenwich, UK
Although it is essential to grasp the practical science and politics of complex global issues, the social psychological is equally mandatory. Trained in both sociology and clinical psychology, Castellani provides a powerful macroscope for readers to understand the nexus of issues involved in globalization today: tracing the building blocks from anthropology and neuroscience, through human psychology, to global societal behavior and policy. ‘The Defiance of Global Commitment’ tells this story of the evolution of global problems through a critical reading of Freud’s ‘Civilization and Its Discontents’ and through the lens of complexity science. The illustrative examples in the book are not intended to persuade readers to take a liberal or a conservative position on an issue; rather they point to a pragmatic method of studying complex issues, encouraging readers to practice this thinking and come to their own conclusions. Especially helpful is the book’s stark realistic, yet hopeful suggestions in the concluding chapter on how we can all take action individually to make an impact. This book is essential reading for engineering, public policy, and business professionals trying to get their arms around the complexity underlying globalization and contemporary global crises.
Carl Dister, M.A. Systems Engineering
Chief Innovation Manager
Reliability First, Ohio, United States
In an attempt to make sense of globalization and recent global events, this is a daring new take on a seemingly disparate set of ideas. Castellani’s treatise – an ambitious and ultimately satisfying account – weaves together scholarly traditions, from psychoanalytic theory to neuroscience, sociological critiques, and the complexity sciences. Castellani argues that the defiance of our global commitments arises from deep instincts, and that our current situation is an emergent phenomenon born of our sociality and psychological drives. Castellani avoids the trap of an easy answer, yet the reader comes away with a broader perspective of the key challenges of our global age and how we may best be within it all.
Professor Michael Seid
Director, Health Outcomes and Quality Care Research,
Pulmonary Medicine and James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence
University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics
Ranging from Freud to Wallerstein, as well as Foucault and a multitude of other scholars, this is an extraordinary review of theories of ‘commitment’ and the ‘global’. The binding together of this mix through the deployment of complex systems theory is the basis of its intriguing innovations, whatever you think of its Freudian underpinnings.
Sylvia Walby OBE
Distinguished Professor of Sociology
UNESCO Chair in Gender Research
Lancaster University, UK
CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS
THE DEFIANCE OF GLOBAL COMMITMENT
A Complex Social Psychology
Oceanic Feeling and the Pursuit of Happiness
Chapter 1, Oceanic Commitment and the Global: Fostering a Complex Systems View of the World
AN ARCHEOLOGY OF MIND
EMBRACING A COMPLEX SYSTEMS VIEW
Chapter 2: We Are Condemned to Seek Happiness
What is Happiness?
OUR ASSESSMENT OF FREUD’S ARGUMENT
CIVILIZATION, REALITY AND HAPPINESS
Liberal Society and the Problem of Religion
SECTION II: Globalization: A Complex Social Psychology
A NOTE ON METHOD
Cataloguing the Social Psychology of Globalization
Chapter 3, The Impossible Promise of Globalization: Globalization and Fear of the Global
THE PROBLEM OF GLOBALIZATION
THE WORLD CAPITALIST SYSTEM
Fear of the Global: A Complex Social Psychology
Back to Wallerstein
THE COMPLEXITIES OF GLOBALIZATION
Advocating for Global Civic Society
GLOBAL NETWORK SOCIETY
Network Society Defined
GLOBALIZATION’S IMPOSSIBLE PROMISE
Chapter 4, The Impossible Promise of Globalization: Nostalgic Retreat and the Importance of Society
THE EVOLUTIONARY NECESSITY OF SOCIETY
We, the Prosthetic Gods of Globalization
Freud’s Functionalist Error
Introduction to Sociology, 101
THE CALL OF NOSTALGIC PRIMITIVISM
Advocating for Global Civil Society – Continued
The Nostalgic Regress of Progress
The Nostalgia of Eco-Primitivism
The Nostalgia of Purity
The Nostalgia of Resentment
THE RESTRICTION OF HUMAN INSTINCT
SECTION III: Idstincts & Drives/Repression & Resistance
Chapter 5, Idstincts and Drives: An Embodied-Mind Approach
OUR APPROACH TO THEORY
INSTINCTS AND DRIVES
A Bit of Hermeneutics
Psychoanalysis in a Nutshell
Instincts or Drives?
Drives Are (Not) Instincts?
Our Complex Embodied-Minds
Evolutionary Psychology and Sociobiology: A Critique
IDSTINCTS AND SOCIETAL DRIVES
Emotional Instincts and the Mammalian Brain
Mind, Self and Societal Drives
Chapter 6, Repression and Resistance: A Complex Social Psychology of Global Power
On Any Given Sunday
Freud’s Tripartite Model of Global Defiance
Id-Ego-Superego or Eros-Thanatos?
Everything Is (NOT) Repression
Anxiety and Global Fear: A Case Study
RESISTANCE AND DEFIANCE
A GLOBAL MODEL OF RESISTANCE
SOCIAL PROBLEMS AS COMPLEX SYSTEMS
The Complex Global Web
Domains and Regimes
Ten Domains of Complex Global Web
Global Social Psychological Problems
SECTION IV: Sex, Aggression, & Death
Our Research Questions
Chapter 7, Sex, Sexuality, & Gender
A BIT OF HERMENEUTICS
DEFINING OUR TERMS
FREUD’S PATRIARCHAL HETEROSEXIS
The Conjugal Family
LGBTQI Sexual Repression
OVERCOMING PATRIACHAL HETEROSEXISM
Global Report Card
Chapter 8, Aggression, Otherness & Death
THE RING OF MALICE
A BIT OF HERMENEUTICS
Understanding Global Otherness
The Death Instinct
Globalist Aggression – Continued
Global Report Card
Chapter 9, The Global Strong Arms Versus Global Civil Society
PRÉCIS DE NOS RECHERCHES
THE TRIPARTITE PROBLEM
THE GLOBAL STRONGARMS
What Gives Rise to the Global Strongarms?
The Defiance of the Global Strongarms
THE ADJACENT POSSIBLE
This interdisciplinary series encourages social scientists to embrace a complex systems approach to studying the social world. A complexity approach to the social world has expanded across the disciplines since its emergence in the mid-to-late 1990s, and this can only continue as disciplines continue to change, data continue to diversify, and governance and responses to global social issues continue to challenge all involved. Covering a broad range of topics from big data and time, globalization and health, cities and inequality, and methodological applications, to more theoretical or philosophical approaches, this series responds to these challenges of complexity in the social sciences – with an emphasis on critical dialogue around, and application of these ideas in, a variety of social arenas as well as social policy.
The series will publish research monographs and edited collections between 60,000–90,000 words that include a range of philosophical, methodological and disciplinary approaches, which enrich and develop the field of social complexity and push it forward in new directions.
David Byrne is Emeritus Professor at the School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University, UK.
Brian Castellani is Professor of Sociology at Durham University and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Northeastern Ohio Medical University.
Emma Uprichard is Reader at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick, UK. She is also director of the Nuffield, ESRC, HEFCE funded Warwick Q-Step Centre aimed at promoting quantitative methods across the social sciences.