Liberalism, sociability, and object relations theory.

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This article argues that the notions developed by post-Kleinian object relations psychoanalysis are continuous with a certain British political tradition. British object relations authors think that the healthy personality necessitates a social-democratic political environment. Their ideas follow both historically and logically upon a set of notions about human development that resemble those held by advanced liberals and social democrats since the nineteenth century. Social democracy and advanced liberalism perceive sociability and community as goods that complement traditional liberals’ respect for autonomy and individual difference. Much of this outlook evolved from an earlier preoccupation with the exclusive discretion of already-existing individuals over portions of their lives. This concern has been gradually transformed into an interest in enhancing the conditions under which the autonomous personality may form.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-437
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Legacy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2005


  • SOCIAL sciences
  • POLITICAL science
  • INTERNATIONAL relations
  • OBJECT relations
  • INTERPERSONAL relations


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