Psychohistory Forum Panel (continued):
The Threat to American and World Democracies in Light of the 2024 US Election
• Charles Strozier: The Global Threat to Democracy (30 min)
• Brigitte Demeure: The Right-Wing Threat to French Democracy and the Prospects for the June 9th European Election (30 min)

Abstract: It is easy in the era of Donald Trump to forget that the move toward autocracy is a global phenomenon. Certainly, the three countries with the largest populations have warmly embraced authoritarian rule (China and Russia without apology), while India under Modi drifts right but clings to the trappings of democracy. Even some countries in the EU such as Romania, or several Latin American countries, have drifted toward autocracy. That is our fate, as well, and we need to be aware of and reflect on the dangers.

The wars in the Middle East and Ukraine could easily spin out of control and create what Robert Jay Lifton has called an “atrocity producing situation.” Everything has changed after Hiroshima. Any small and local war has the potential to generate apocalyptic consequences. Putin at the start of his invasion of Ukraine specifically threatened the use of nuclear weapons. He has pulled back from the brink only because he feels, reasonably, he can win the war by playing the long game.

Bio: Charles B. Strozier, PhD, is a Professor Emeritus of History, John Jay College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, where he was also the Founding Director of the Center on Terrorism; and a practicing psychoanalyst. His latest book (with Pinteris, Kelley, and Cher) is The New World of Self: Heinz Kohut’s Transformation of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (Oxford). He is also the co-author of The Fundamentalist Mindset (Oxford); and the author of Apocalypse: The Psychology of Fundamentalism in America (Beacon, 1994); Lincoln’s Quest for Union: A Psychological Portrait (Paul Dry Books, 2001; Basic Books, 1982); and many other books, and close to 100 articles.

Brigitte Demeure: The Right-Wing Threat to French Democracy and the Prospects for the June 9th European Election (30 min)

Abstract: The next European elections of 2024 in France will be held on 9 June 2024 to elect the 81 MEPs representing France in the European Parliament. Across Europe, there is a rise in voting intentions for populist, authoritarian and/or nationalist parties. The aim of this paper is to present a picture of the media and emotional landscape of the French electorate on the eve of these decisive elections for the future of democracy in France but also in Europe.

Bio: Brigitte Demeure, PhD, has worked for many years in international trade, but also as a member of the board of various international solidarity NGO’s. She holds a master’s degree in intercultural negotiation, a PhD in history, is a qualified translator and author of the book La figure maternelle dans la vie politique française, 1789-1914 (Editions Universitaires d’Avignon, 2023), and of many psychohistorical articles published in peer-reviewed journals in France, Germany, and the USA. She has received two awards by the ACOPSA (American College of Psychoanalysts) in the USA.

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