• David FreisEmail author
Part of the Mental Health in Historical Perspective book series (MHHP)


The introductory chapter lays out the main topic of the book, the expansion of psychiatry’s diagnostic and therapeutic authority into the social and political sphere in the era between the world wars, and situates it in the existing historiography of psychiatry and the psy-ences. I discuss the dominance of asylum-centred narratives in the history of psychiatry, recent research into extramural psychiatry in the twentieth century, and the place of eugenics in this history. Subsequently, I trace the history of the term to develop a concept of ‘psycho-politics’ fitting the needs of an historical analysis of psychiatry’s relation to society and politics in the inter-war period.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Ethics, History and Theory of MedicineUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany

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