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Palgrave Macmillan

Culture and Politics on the Couch

Lacanian Interventions

  • Book
  • Sep 2024


  • Provides an interpretation of social, cultural and political phenomena by a practicing psychoanalyst
  • Offers a lively and accessible examination of issues including race, climate change and partisanship
  • Takes account of that which is hidden from 'the patient', in this case, society: their desire, libido, jouissance

Part of the book series: The Palgrave Lacan Series (PALS)

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About this book

In this book, Thomas Svolos tests the claim that a practicing psychoanalyst is afforded a unique perspective on issues of politics, social and cultural affairs, trained, as they are, to look out for that which is not readily transparent to a patient. This might be something opaque, something bizarre even, something that is part of the experience of the patient that they are not conscious of, what Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan called, at different points in their work, desire, libido, or, jouissance. It argues that by taking account, in one way or another, of desire, libido and jouissance, we might find another dimension to political, social and cultural matters, a dimension that is present, but generally opaque, to those who deal with them.

In a series of original texts and edited dialogues, brought together for the first time, this lively and accessible work offers novel insights on topics ranging from race, climate change and partisan politics, to science fiction and Bruce Springsteen. It will appeal to students, scholars and those with a general interest in psychoanalysis, politics, cultural studies and critical theory.



  • Lacanian psychoanalysis
  • voting behavior
  • American Partisan Politics
  • Immigration
  • Climate Change
  • Race
  • Psychoanalysis and Politics
  • the Politics of Psychoanalysis


“It is rare that a psychoanalyst so versed in the nuances of multiple eras of Lacan's teaching—and especially the less known late period of Lacan's work—is able, so deftly, so astutely, to bring the full variety and complexity of Lacan's conceptual vocabulary to bear on pressing contemporary issues with the flair that Svolos does.” (Derek Hook, Professor of Psychology, Duquesne University, US)

“Svolos builds well-aimed links in an endeavor to establish psychoanalytic practice at the level of the new subjectivities and social changes promoted by the ferocity of the present phase of capitalism.” (Gustavo Dessal, Analyst Member of the School, Escuela Lacaniana de Psicoanálisis and World Assocation of Psychoanalysis)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Creighton University, Omaha, USA

    Thomas Svolos

About the author

Thomas Svolos, MD, practices psychoanalysis in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. He is a Member of Lacanian Compass, the New Lacanian School, and the World Association of Psychoanalysis. He is also Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Dean for Strategy and Accreditation at Creighton University School of Medicine. Published in ten languages, his books include The Aims of Analysis: Miami Seminar on the Late Lacan (2020) and Twenty-First Century Psychoanalysis (2017).

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Culture and Politics on the Couch

  • Book Subtitle: Lacanian Interventions

  • Authors: Thomas Svolos

  • Series Title: The Palgrave Lacan Series

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Behavioral Science and Psychology, Behavioral Science and Psychology (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2024

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-61364-7Due: 16 September 2024

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-61365-4Due: 16 September 2024

  • Series ISSN: 2946-4196

  • Series E-ISSN: 2946-420X

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIV, 168

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